Beyond Yahweh and Jesus: Bringing Death's Wisdom to Faith, Spirituality, and Psychoanalysis

Beyond Yahweh and Jesus: Bringing Death's Wisdom to Faith, Spirituality, and Psychoanalysis

by Robert Langs

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Beyond Yahweh and Jesus: Bringing Death's Wisdom to Faith, Spirituality, and Psychoanalysis by Robert Langs

The first in-depth psychoanalytic study of the Old and New Testaments, Beyond Yahweh and Jesus centers on God's role in enabling humans to cope with death and the anxieties it evokes. Yahweh is seen as tending to increase rather than diminish these death anxieties, while Christ offers near-perfect solutions to each type. Why, then, asks Dr. Langs, has Christ failed to bring peace to the world? Langs's answer focuses on Western religion's lack of a deep understanding of human psychology-an absence of the psychological wisdom needed to supplement the spiritual wisdom of religion. This is a void bemoaned as early as the mid-1800s by the Archbishop Temple and in the early twentieth century by Carl Jung.

The journey on which Langs's study embarks leads us through an examination of the related topics of knowledge acquisition and divine wisdom; the failure of psychoanalysis to provide religion with the psychology it needs to fulfill its mission; and a set of propositions that are intended to bring psychological wisdom to religion and thereby to initiate the third chapter in the history of God, in which a refashioned morality and fresh divine wisdom play notable roles. Simultaneously, the book offers a foundation, for secular forms of spirituality and morality, as well as for human efforts to cope with death and its incumbent anxieties. The mission of this book is a lofty but necessary one: to reinvigorate religion with new dimensions and insights so as to empower it, at long last, to help bring peace to the world, both individually and collectively.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780765705327
Publisher: Aronson, Jason Inc.
Publication date: 10/10/2007
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 220
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.68(d)

About the Author

Robert Langs, M.D. is the author of 45 books and some 170 papers on psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, the emotion-processing mind and its evolutionary history and adapative capacities, the therapeutic interaction and its boundaries, ground rules, and techniques, and the role played by trauma, death, and death anxiety in both human creativity and emotional difficulties as played out in the treatment situation and everyday life.

Table of Contents

Author's Note     ix
Prologue: My Appointment in Samara     xiii
The First Question and God's Answer     1
The First Question and Eve's Answer     19
Death Anxiety and Divine Wisdom     43
Augustine's Version of Adam's Sin     55
Eve's Motives     65
Cain and Abel     79
Augustine's Reliving of the Sin of Cain     91
The Failure to Master Death Anxiety: Yahweh     105
Resolving Death Anxiety: Jesus Christ     125
The Failure of Religious Beliefs     145
Why Psychoanalysis Failed Religion     155
The Future of Religious and Secular Spirituality     175
References     193
Index     197
About the Author     201

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