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Dans l’étude des rapports entre théologie, foi et psychanalyse, l’œuvre d’Antoine Vergote est d’une importance primordiale. En raison de son caractère pionnier, de son ampleur, de sa qualité, et de la pluri-compétence exceptionnelle de son auteur (psychanalyste, cofondateur de l’École Belge de psychanalyse, psychologue de la religion internationalement reconnu, théologien et philosophe) Jacob A. Belzen le décrit comme un « géant intellectuel » : « I rarely, perhaps never, witnessed such a combination of personal charisma, superior scholarship and great character. […] Believe me: if you made your way through the depth of analysis you can find with Vergote, much of other psychology of religion resembles mainly bloodless talk. » (Voir la totalité de ce texte)
Dernier article d’Antoine Vergote
A. Vergote, « How and why I became interested in the psychology of religion », in Jacob A. Belzen (Ed.), Psychology of Religion: Autobiographical Accounts, New York, Springer, 2012, pp. 243-248. Vergote y parle notamment de sa rencontre avec Heidegger, de l’influence de la foi chrétienne sur la conception de l’humain comme ego personnel, du caractère gnostique de l’approche jungienne de la religion, des Études Carmélitaines et de l’importance pour lui des œuvres de Thérèse d’Avila et Jean de la Croix Extraits :
« I have become increasingly convinced that the western philosophical and psychological conception of the human being as personal ego is an essential cultural consequence of biblical-Christian God revelation. In my doctoral thesis of theology, which was based an exegetical study, my aim was to show that it is not redemption of sin but self-revelation of the divine being as a personal God that is the major idea, most explicitly in the fourth Gospel. This is, of course, of major importance for an empirically oriented psychology of religion. […] In the years 1954-1958 Paris was a most interesting place, both directly and indirectly, for a future psychologist of religion. The lectures by Merleau-Ponty on phenomenology and by Levi-Strauss on ethnography were stimulating for psychologists. Psychology of religion itself, however, was only present outside the university, essentially in the convent of the Carmelites, who published the famous and (from a psychology point of view) highly important Études Carmélitaines, issues of which on mysticism and on possession (Satan, 1948) were of major significance for a branch of psychology then in its infancy. The trend of thought in this group was essentially Jungian, but they had sympathy and real psychological interest in the work of psychoanalysts such as Lacan and Dolto, Freudian psychoanalysts who disagreed with the unconvincing rationalistic view of religion. During this time I became thoroughly acquainted with the major works of Jung and was able to engage in discussion with Jungian psychotherapists. I gradually perceived that the opposition between Freud and Jung is of major importance for the psychology of religion. I still remember the virulent opposition to Freud on the part of some Jungian therapists or theologians, but my studies in theology made me quickly aware that their Jungian interpretation of biblical religion was a new form of the Gnostic views that pervaded Christian thinking in southern Europe in the second and following centuries. The studies for my theological doctorate in exegesis had enabled me to detect these new Gnostic features in Jungian psychology and to understand the fascination it held for those with psychological and religious interests. Discussions with Jungian psychologists strengthened my psychological and theological interests in mystical writings, especially those of John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila. I still believe, however, that a Freudian psychoanalytical background helps the reading and understanding of the extraordinary psychological analyses which these mystics carry out and elucidate. It certainly helped me to write my work Guilt and Desire » Lire les trois premières pages de l’article (disponibles également sur le site de l’éditeur).