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Freud and Religion: Freud, Jung, Kristeva, Freud Museum London

  • London
  • museums, Intensive Day Course
  • Jamie Ruers lili@freud.org.uk

Description

Freud is famous for portraying religion as a collective neurosis of mankind. He argued that religious beliefs give expression to wish-fulfilling illusions, serving the immature emotional needs of the child living on within the adult.

Such illusions – he sternly maintained – should be cast aside and replaced by ideas corresponding to reality – namely, the materialistic world view that emerges gradually but inescapably from the cumulative process of scientific observation.

This is one side of Freud – expressing his self-image as an ‘Enlightenment philosophe’ (in Peter Gay’s accurate phrase). But there is another side to Freud – unfortunately less widely known – for in the later works he develops a subtle and complex theory of society, in which religion plays a much more positive – even vital – role. Seen from this perspective, religion may be regarded as necessary for our psychological well-being – even for the survival of human kind.

In the one day course we will explore a range of psychoanalytic interpretations of religion, examining different views of its function and significance in the lives of human beings.

Tutor: Keith Barrett BA PhD

Having received his PhD from the Wellcome Centre for the History of Medicine at University College London, Dr Barrett specialises in both philosophy and psychoanalysis and has taught at several leading institutions, including Imperial College and Birkbeck College.

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