Psychoanalysis of Mythology
Freudian Theories on Myth and Religion Examined
Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, and several of his followers used their psychological theories to explain the origin and functions of myths and religion. This book describes and critically examines their ideas as they presented them in their own texts.
It is a strange journey through a world of thoughts restrained by psychoanalytical dogma and loyalty to its creator, with its own myths of sorts and — in spite of scientific claims — a fidelity that can be characterized as religious.
Stefan Stenudd is a Swedish author and historian of ideas. Within the history of ideas he researches thought patterns in creation myths, as well as theories about mythology through history.
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Introduction(Excerpts from the book)
The beliefs expressed in myths, as well as in rites, gradually ceased to be dismissed as merely heathen misconceptions as opposed to the sacred truth of the Christian doctrine. Instead, they became respected fields of study of the human nature, inspired by the quickly growing mass of documented myths and increasing knowledge about religious traditions among distant and obscure cultures.
By the end of the 19th century, the literature on the subject was immense, and mostly pointing to psychological explanations to the structure and content of myths, as well as for the birth of religions and their spiritual meaning.
The two persons most influential in the emergence of psychological treatments of myth were Sigmund Freud and Carl Gustav Jung, the latter to a much wider extent than the former. Since both were connected to the psychoanalytical movement — Freud as its founder and Jung as his most prominent disciple until they parted ways — and their perspectives on man and myth involved unconscious parts of the psyche supposed to play much more of a role than mere emotions and instinctive stimuli, it is possible to label their theories on myth psychoanalytical.
Sigmund Freud 15
Karl Abraham 80
Otto Rank 90
Franz Riklin 116
Ernest Jones 121
Oskar Pfister 130
Theodor Reik 147
Géza Róheim 163
Helene Deutsch 172
Erich Fromm 179
On my Creation Myths website:
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I'm a Swedish author of fiction and non-fiction books in both Swedish and English. I'm also an artist, an historian of ideas and a 7 dan Aikikai Shihan aikido instructor. Click the header to read my full bio.