Spirit, Mind, and Brain: A Psychoanalytic Examination of Spirituality and Religion by Mortimer Ostow

Spirit, Mind, and Brain: A Psychoanalytic Examination of Spirituality and Religion

byMortimer Ostow

Kobo ebook | December 22, 2006

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Preeminent psychoanalyst Mortimer Ostow believes that early childhood emotional attachments form the cognitive underpinnings of spiritual experience and religious motivation. His hypothesis, which is verifiable, relies on psychological and neurobiological evidence but is respectful of the human need for spiritual value.

Ostow begins by classifying the three parts of the spiritual experience: awe, Spirituality proper, and mysticism. After he pinpoints the psychological origins of these feelings in infancy, he discusses the foundations of religious sentiment and practice and the brain processes associated with spiritual experience. He then focuses on spirituality's relationship to mood regulation, and the role of negative spirituality in fostering religious fundamentalism and demonic possession.

Ostow concludes with an analysis of an essay by the psychoanalyst Donald M. Marcus, who recounts his own spiritual experience during a Native American-style "vision quest" in the woods. Marcus's account demonstrates the constructive potential of spirituality and the way in which spirituality retrieves and recapitulates feelings of attachment to the mother.

Persuasively and brilliantly argued, Spirit, Mind, and Brain brings the disciplines of religion, behavorial neuroscience, and philosophy to bear on a groundbreaking new method for understanding religious ritual and belief.

Mortimer Ostow was a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst whose experience included the last three major revolutions in psychiatry: psychoanalysis, psychopharmacology, and neuroscience. As emeritus professor of pastoral psychiatry at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, he saw himself as an informed amateur in the field of religion.
Title:Spirit, Mind, and Brain: A Psychoanalytic Examination of Spirituality and ReligionFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:December 22, 2006Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231511205

ISBN - 13:9780231511209

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Editorial Reviews

Mortimer Ostow's most original contribution is to reject the conventional view that religion and psychological health are incompatible. He views these two impulses as not only interdependent but even indispensible for the shaping of a mature identity. Required reading for all who are concerned with the place of the spirit in the tumult of modernity.