Religious Objects As Psychological Structures: A Critical Integration of Object Relations Theory, Psychotherapy, and Judaism

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In this original work, Moshe Halevi Spero makes a two-pronged effort to integrate the psychological and religious perspectives of contemporary psychoanalytic object relations theory with the system of Jewish ethics known as Halakhah. Religious Objects as Psychological Structures represents the first comprehensive theoretical and clinical integration of psychology and Judaism within the larger understanding of the religious nature of psychotherapy and the psychotherapeutic nature...

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Overview

In this original work, Moshe Halevi Spero makes a two-pronged effort to integrate the psychological and religious perspectives of contemporary psychoanalytic object relations theory with the system of Jewish ethics known as Halakhah. Religious Objects as Psychological Structures represents the first comprehensive theoretical and clinical integration of psychology and Judaism within the larger understanding of the religious nature of psychotherapy and the psychotherapeutic nature of religion.

By constructing a halakhic metapsychology within which psychological phenomena can be given specific halakhic identities, Spero arrives at a unique perspective on the development of religious objects and God representations. He traces two lines of development: one for relationships between humans, anthropocentric, and another for relationships between God and humans, deocentric. The second aspect of his argument is that these two distinct but parallel lines allow one to conceptualize the revolutionary possibility of transference displacements—the shift of religious symbology—not only from interpersonal relationships onto the God concept (Freud's model) but also from an objective human-God relationship onto interpersonal relationships. Filled with clinical as well as theoretical illustrations, Spero's work is a rich resource for both the religious patient and the religious therapist.

In the last few decades, a great deal of literature has been written on the relationship between theology and psychotherapy; none of this work, however, has addressed its subject using Judaism as a point of reference. Spero successfully takes up the task of bridging this gap in previous scholarship.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Devine (philosophy of religion, Stonehill College, Mass.) presents a defense of the reality of God in the sense in which Nietzsche proclaimed His death. He explores various contemporary versions of Nietzsche's maxim No index. No bibliography. In a two-pronged approach--the religious nature of psychoanalysis and the psychoanalytic nature of religion--pursues an integration between the contemporary object-relations theory and the Jewish ethical system known as Halakhah. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226769394
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/1992
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 260
  • Product dimensions: 6.34 (w) x 9.36 (h) x 0.84 (d)

Meet the Author

Moshe Halevi Spero is Senior Clinical Psychologist and Research Scholar in Psychoanalysis and Religion in the Department of Psychiatry at the Sarah Herzog Memorial Hospital in Jerusalem and associate professor in the School of Social Work and the Postgraduate Psychotherapy Institute at Bar-Ilan University. He is the author of four previous books.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction
1 Psychology and Religious Belief at the Watershed 1
2 Developments in the Psychology-Judaism Literature 31
3 The Psychologistic Approach to the Image of God 51
4 The Halakhic Metapsychology 93
5 A Model for Anthropocentric and Deocentric Dimensions of Psychological Experience 131
6 Clinical Illustrations 155
7 Final Considerations on God as Structure 183
Epilogue 195
List of Abbreviations 197
Notes 201
References 215
Index 237
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