Crucified with Christ: Meditation on the Passion, Mystical Death, and the Medieval Invention of Psychotherapy

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Overview

Crucified with Christ offers a fascinating study of the psychoanalytic character of medieval meditation. Most meditation practitioners imagined themselves in the place of an eyewitness to the passion; however, some, including Bernard of Clairvaux, Francis of Assisi, and Bonaventure, introduced meditation from the perspective of Jesus. They felt the imagined crucifixion, passion, and death as experiences of their own and understood them in Pauline terms as "crucifixions with Christ." As knowledge of mystical death experiences accumulated over the centuries, it was noted that repeated mystical unions with Christ in his death could create personality change, imparting the sweetness of Jesus' personality to the meditators.

Author Dan Merkur illustrates that in both its details and its goal, the meditative process meets contemporary psychoanalytic criteria for psychotherapeutic change. The medieval practice of meditation, Merkur writes, is comprehensible as guided imagery therapy that takes the meditator from fear of death to forgiveness of persecutors-in psychoanalytic terms, dissolving resistance through a capacity for concern and relationality.

About the Author:
Dan Merkur is a psychoanalyst in private practice and a research reader in the study of religion at the University of Toronto

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“…presents a significant and original reading of an impressive array of mystical theologians through a modern psychoanalytic lens. Persons interested in psychological and theological perspectives on human transformation may find that the book offers valuable material for interdisciplinary reflection.” — Studies in Religion

“This stimulating book will make good reading for all interested in the psychoanalytic study of mysticism.” — Philosophy of Religion

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780791471050
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press
  • Publication date: 7/12/2007
  • Pages: 166
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Dan Merkur is a psychoanalyst in private practice and a research reader in the study of religion at the University of Toronto. He is the author of many books, including Unconscious Wisdom: A Superego Function in Dreams, Conscience, and Inspiration, also published by SUNY Press.

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Table of Contents

Preface

Acknowledgments

Chapter 1 Turned Without and Within 1

Chapter 2 Reforming in Faith and Feeling 9

Chapter 3 Meditation on the Passion 31

Chapter 4 Mystical Death 47

Chapter 5 The Therapeutic Action of Crucifixion with Christ 69

Chapter 6 The Death of Adam 93

Afterword 131

References 135

Index 153

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