The Religious and Romantic Origins of Psychoanalysis: Individuation and Integration in Post-Freudian Theory

Overview

Demonstrating that they are Western constructions, this study considers the cultural and religious sources of contemporary psychoanalytic theories of the development of the self. Thus, it raises provocative questions about the status of psychoanalytic theories as knowledge and as science.

The book contains no figures.

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Overview

Demonstrating that they are Western constructions, this study considers the cultural and religious sources of contemporary psychoanalytic theories of the development of the self. Thus, it raises provocative questions about the status of psychoanalytic theories as knowledge and as science.

The book contains no figures.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...Kirschner makes an important and original contribution to the literature on religion, modernity, and contemporary psychoanalysis." Religious Studies Review

"A truly illuminating work. Through careful and sophisticated historical analysis, Kirschner entirely recasts our understanding of contemporary developmental theory, revealing the suppressed and very significant subtext." Kenneth J. Gergen, Swarthmore College

"A fascinating and ground-breaking book. Kirschner makes clear how the developmental narrative of psychoanalysis owes as much to our biblical and Romantic traditions as to observations from consulting room and nursery. She also makes us wonder about the stand alone truth of these observations and the extent to which they have been unwittingly infiltrated by Western cultural values. Could it be that its many links to the Zeitgeist help to explain the enduring popularity of psychoanalysis?" Donald P. Spence, Professor of Psychiatry, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Jersey

"In the tradition of Philip Rieff's Triumph of the Therapeutic, Kirschner shows how current trends in psychoanalysis are rooted in the wider cultural context. But where Rieff emphasized the discontinuities between traditional and modern views of the therapeutic, Kirschner brings to light the deep continuities in our interpretation of life's aims. This remarkable book will be of value not just to professionals in the field, but to anyone who cares about the quest for the good life in our world." Charles Guignon, Professor of Philosophy, University of Vermont

"Kirschner brilliantly traces the origins of the psychoanalytic story of development to its Biblical origins." R. Shilkret, Choice

"Kirschner's presentation reflects broad scholarship in history, literature, psychology and religion....Kirschner makes contemporary psychoanalytic theory accessible in a new and powerful way—for its practitioners, as well as for those who stand outside the discipline." E. James Lieberman, Bulletin of the History of Medicine

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Product Details

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
Introduction 1
1 Towards a cultural genealogy of psychoanalytic developmental psychology 3
2 The assenting echo: Anglo-American values in contemporary psychoanalytic developmental psychology 33
3 The developmental narrative: The design of psychological history 63
4 Theological sources of the idea of development 95
5 The Christian mystical narrative: Neoplatonism and Christian mysticism 115
6 Jacob Boehme: Towards worldly mysticism 130
7 Romantic thought: From worldly mysticism to natural supernaturalism 149
8 Personal supernaturalism: The cultural genealogy of the psychoanalytic developmental narrative 179
9 Conclusion 193
Bibliography 210
Index 233
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