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Religious experience in psychology, anthropology and sociology Lecture 2: Psychology of religion and the cartography of belief

OCHS Library
Dr Jessica Frazier
Friday, 27 February 2009 - 10:00am

Psychologists of religion from Jung to Freud, and Boyer and Laing, have produced speculative models of religious subjectivity, according to which the human mind appears variously as an ocean of symbols, a volcanic core wracked by powerful forces, a computational machine, or a shell through transcendence may occasionally break. Just as science posits its own models, so psychologists of religion use metaphors of spatial relations and fluid dynamics to provide a mapping of the self. We examine this mechanistic model, and also look at the way in which thinkers such as Jung and Boyer incorporate un-mappable territories as a crucial concession to the claims of religion itself.