Monday, September 3, 2012

Freud... and religion as neurotic disease

 I have never heard the Freudian view of religion expressed as clearly as in J.H. Bavinck's The Church Between Temple and Mosque
In recent times an even more pernicious verdict has been given on religion. Freudian psychology put forward the hypothesis the religion is a neurotic disease. The god whom we adore, on whom we feel dependent, whom we fear and whom we love, is nothing but a gigantic projection of the father image of our youth. In a healthy mind this image dissolves naturally, and the “ego,” the feeling of self-reliance, takes its place. But due to all kinds of circumstances this father image in some people does not disappear, but it is projected and becomes a god. This projection is, of course, harmful for the development of one’s personality, and people will never become sound and mature men and women as long as they live under the spell of this self-made god.

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