Contemporary Psychoanalysis and Religion: Transference and Transcendence by James W. JonesContemporary Psychoanalysis and Religion: Transference and Transcendence by James W. Jones

Contemporary Psychoanalysis and Religion: Transference and Transcendence

byJames W. Jones

Paperback | July 28, 1993

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The psychoanalytic study of religion has until now been dominated by a Freudian perspective that views the religious experience as a one-way transference, where the devotee projects his instinctually based childhood wishes, fears, and behaviors onto a religious construct. In this path-breaking book, James W. Jones, a clinical psychologist and professor of religion, challenges this view. Building on more recent theories in which the self is construed as a matrix of internalized relationships, he investigates ways in which religious beliefs, practices, and experiences reflect the structure of the relational self.


Drawing on both theory and practice, Jones not only reviews the relevant psychoanalytic literature but also illustrates his thesis with an in-depth discussion of four clinical cases. He examines models of transference since Freud by Fairbairn, Kohut, Gill, and Roland, and he describes previous applications of psychoanalysis to religion by Rizzuto, Winnicott, and Kohut. He concludes by discussing the nature of religion, bringing such theologians, philosophers, and psychoanalysts as Otto, Bollas, Tillich, and Buber into a multi-disciplinary dialogue.


The book will give the scholar and student of religious studies the latest psychoanalytic theories and demonstrate their relevance for religious studies. It will also help the clinician grasp the role of religion in human life.

Title:Contemporary Psychoanalysis and Religion: Transference and TranscendenceFormat:PaperbackDimensions:160 pages, 11 × 8.5 × 0.68 inPublished:July 28, 1993Publisher:Yale University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0300057849

ISBN - 13:9780300057843


From Our Editors

In this pathbreaking book, a professor of religion who is also a clinical psychologist challenges Freud's view of religion as one-way transference. Using examples from clinical cases, James W. Jones argues instead that religious experiences, doctrines, and practices reflect the internalized interpersonal patterns that constitute our sense of ourselves.