This Incredible Need to Believe

Paperback | October 25, 2011

byJulia KristevaTranslated byBeverley Bie Brahic

not yet rated|write a review

"Unlike Freud, I do not claim that religion is just an illusion and a source of neurosis. The time has come to recognize, without being afraid of 'frightening' either the faithful or the agnostics, that the history of Christianity prepared the world for humanism."

So writes Julia Kristeva in this provocative work, which skillfully upends our entrenched ideas about religion, belief, and the thought and work of a renowned psychoanalyst and critic. With dialogue and essay, Kristeva analyzes our "incredible need to believe"--the inexorable push toward faith that, for Kristeva, lies at the heart of the psyche and the history of society. Examining the lives, theories, and convictions of Saint Teresa of Avila, Sigmund Freud, Donald Winnicott, Hannah Arendt, and other individuals, she investigates the intersection between the desire for God and the shadowy zone in which belief resides.

Kristeva suggests that human beings are formed by their need to believe, beginning with our first attempts at speech and following through to our adolescent search for identity and meaning. Kristeva then applies her insight to contemporary religious clashes and the plight of immigrant populations, especially those of Islamic origin. Even if we no longer have faith in God, Kristeva argues, we must believe in human destiny and creative possibility. Reclaiming Christianity's openness to self-questioning and the search for knowledge, Kristeva urges a "new kind of politics," one that restores the integrity of the human community.

Pricing and Purchase Info

$14.90 online
$14.95 list price
In stock online
Ships free on orders over $25

From the Publisher

"Unlike Freud, I do not claim that religion is just an illusion and a source of neurosis. The time has come to recognize, without being afraid of 'frightening' either the faithful or the agnostics, that the history of Christianity prepared the world for humanism."So writes Julia Kristeva in this provocative work, which skillfully upen...

Julia Kristeva is professor of linguistics at the Université de Paris VII and the author of many acclaimed works and novels, including Murder in Byzantium, Strangers to Ourselves, New Maladies of the Soul, Time and Sense, Hannah Arendt, and Melanie Klein. She is the recipient of the Hannah Arendt Prize for Political Thought and the Ho...

other books by Julia Kristeva

Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection
Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection

Paperback|Jun 4 1984

$32.29 online$33.00list price
Hannah Arendt: Life is a Narrative
Hannah Arendt: Life is a Narrative

Hardcover|Jan 13 2001

$27.95

see all books by Julia Kristeva
Format:PaperbackDimensions:136 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.68 inPublished:October 25, 2011Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231147856

ISBN - 13:9780231147859

Look for similar items by category:

Customer Reviews of This Incredible Need to Believe

Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Thought Provoking Kristeva turns Freud on his head with some elegant post-modern, feminists twists. A dense read. Check her video lectures out on line.
Date published: 2014-07-07

Extra Content

Table of Contents

The Big Question Mark (in Guise of a Preface)This Incredible Need to Believe: Interview with Carmine DonzelliFrom Jesus to Mozart: Christianity's Difference?"Suffering": Lenten Lectures, March 19, 2006The Genius of CatholicismDon't Be Afraid of European CultureIndex

Editorial Reviews

Readers... will be exposed to an impressive... crystallization of [Kristeva's] religious and psychoanalytic thought.