Abstract: “The author stresses that several recent contributions from psychoanalysts of different post-Freudian schools have shifted their focus of interest from the origins of religion as a historical and cultural phenomenon, to personal developmental paths toward religion as it can be observed in the case-history of individuals. The first benefit of this change is that all arguments about the truth value of religious beliefs can be avoided. To achieve this aim, the author, like many others, adopts the notion of the “illusory transitional phenomenon” introduced by Donald W. Winnicott. While the importance of this concept is pointed out here, some problems that it entails are also analyzed. Another recent trend involves the interaction of psychoanalysis with the neurosciences, cultural psychology, and attachment theory. Examples are presented and critically appraised as to their potential for understanding religion in individuals. Finally the author criticizes the wording “psychoanalysis of religion”, delineating his position on the truth inherent to religion in the light of psychoanalysis”.
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