Christ and Freud: A Study of Religious Experience and by Arthur Guirdham

By Arthur Guirdham

Originally released in 1959, this publication is essentially concerned about the query of psychiatric elements in faith, and, conversely, with that of spiritual elements in psychiatry. It rejects the Freudian conception that faith is a sort of obsessional neurosis. notwithstanding this latter speculation may perhaps clarify a few of the phenomena of spiritual observance, it can't clarify the truth of spiritual event. Dr Guirdham believes that orthodox Christianity is a perversion of the psychologically irrefutable educating of Christ and that its perception of God as a splendid being endowed with ideally suited strength, its instructing at the resurrection, and its illness with a feeling of guilt, are specifically conducive to psychiatric illness. He exhibits how theology may very well be inimical to spiritual adventure and the way religion differs from trust and is a reaction of the total guy. The ebook explains additionally the mental origins of clericalism and demonstrates the position performed by way of the latter in stifling spiritual experience.

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Additional resources for Christ and Freud: A Study of Religious Experience and Observance

Sample text

Like St Teresa of Avila. were suhjectedto severe interrogation and advised to disregardtheir experiencesof reality. The excuseof the apologists for the inquisitorsis. that they were endeavouring with all charity and fraternal love to protect the souls of the saints from the contaminationof heresy. But such precautions are superfluousin dealing with mystics, seeing that theselatter derive their religion not from dogmaor any variety of intellectual concept. but from actual experience of the CHRIST AND FREUD 31 presenceof God.

We must, however,defer discussionof thesecardinalfactors till we reach the section dealing with the relationship between the sexual and the self-assertiveimpulses. 32 CHRIST AND FREUD v FURTHER CRITICISMS OF THE FREUDIAN CONCEPT OF RELIGION In the meantime are there any other argumentsagainst the psychoanalyticconcept of religion? Can a force which has existed throughout the ages from remotest antiquity be ascribedto the regular operation of neurotic factors? Since man becameaware of his separateidentity he has always beeninsecureand his littlenessand vulnerability in the face of the inscrutablemachinationsof fate have required the constructionof comforting illusions.

Like the Maniche<1n heresy, which was also rigorously persecuted,they believed that the universewas a balancebetweenthe forces of good and evil. All this implies a clear belief in the existenceof God. It embodied,too, a heroic willingness to die in His Service. Indeed it assertsvery positively that our existenceon earth is a reversefor God in the battle betweengood and evil. Though the Albigensiansdid not acceptChrist as the Son of God they believed in a Holy Spirit. There is considerable evidencethat this was regardedas female.

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