Damte David

Researchers of the Soviet Period who Studied the Rapprochement of the Psychology of the Unconscious and Theology

Damte David (2013) "Researchers of the Soviet Period who Studied the Rapprochement of the Psychology of the Unconscious and Theology ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia I : Bogoslovie. Filosofiia, 2013, vol. 47, pp. 101-111 (in Russian).


The main theme of this article is the question of how it became possible to see a rapprochement between psychoanalysis and theology. At its beginnings, psychoanalysis was viewed as only psychological theory whose competence did not include the analysis of cultural problems and moral values. However, psychoanalysis continued to develop and concern itself with more and more aspects of the human condition including questions dealing with the psychological nature of religion. An important role in this process was played by the metapsychology of Freud and by psychoanalytical anthropology. It was possible on this basis to study the interaction of psychoanalysis and the various branches of philosophy, and finally the unprecedented rapprochement of psychoanalysis and theology, the latter of which found expression in the works of Pfi ster, Muller-Braunschweig, Jung, Niebuhr, Gerres, Rudin and Drewermann. Western researchers feel that besides the influence of metapsychology and anthropology, the rapprochement of psychoanalysis and theology owed a great deal to the concept of love which is considered a strong creative fundament by the authors mentioned above. Soviet researchers uncovered another side of this question. They held that an entire series of presuppositions of the psychoanalytical theory were based on a very general and often contradictory principle and admit various interpretations both drawn from philosophy as well as from theology. The author agrees with these Soviet specialists on the contradictory nature and generality of the principles of psychoanalysis and examines some concrete examples, particularly as regards the Freudian theory of the origin of religion and morality. The methodology used by the author may be defined as a comparative-historical method employing a descriptive and analytical approach.


S. Freud, C. Jung, O. Pfister, psychoanalysis, metapsychology, theology, religion, unconscious, cure of souls, morality


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Damte David