Robert Sokolowski on Religion and Psychoanalysis

The problem of the accuracy of religious translations becomes more urgent, however, in the case of a patient who believes in the God revealed in biblical religion, the God who created the world and is not merely a part within it. In this sense of the divine, the world is understood as existing not under the sway of ineluctable forces, not just there and fated to be as it is, but as existing through the freedom of the creator. The believer – in this case the patient – also understands himself to have been created, to have been chosen to be. His relationship to God is not taken to be like his relationship to his primary unconscious, nor like his relationship to the ordered patterns that transform the unconscious into secondary forms of mentation.

Robert Sokolowski, “Religion and Psychoanalysis: Some Phenomenological Contributions” in Psychoanalysis and Religion, ed. Joseph H. Smith and Susan A. Handelman (John Hopkins University Press: 1990) p. 12


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