Psychoanalysis of Mythology. Book by Stefan Stenudd.

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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Psychoanalysis of Mythology. Book by Stefan Stenudd.


(Excerpts from the book)

The psychoanalytical perspective on mythology was unavoidable. When the study of myths and religions from all over the world intensified during the 19th century, patterns in them were extracted and compared, and theories on what they revealed about common human conditions were proposed. Myths were increasingly seen as expressions of needs of the human psyche.

       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.

( - - - )

       This rapid growth of interest in the traditions of other cultures was taking place simultaneously with the establishment of the science of psychology, and they influenced one another continuously. Anthropologists used psychological concepts to analyze and explain beliefs and religious practices of societies they studied, and psychologists searched anthropological material for support of their theories about the mentality of man. This is still the case.

       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.

( - - - )

       This book deals exclusively with Sigmund Freud and his followers. A book about Jung and the Jungians is in the works. Initially, the project was intended to be one book, but it was getting rather voluminous. Also, the Freudian and Jungian theories differ so distinctly, there is little meaning in combining them in one text.


Introduction 7
Sigmund Freud 15
Freudians 79
Karl Abraham 80
Otto Rank 90
Franz Riklin 116
Ernest Jones 121
Oskar Pfister 130
Theodor Reik 147
Gza Rheim 163
Helene Deutsch 172
Erich Fromm 179
Literature 225

Psychoanalysis of Mythology
Mythology by
Arriba, 2022
Paperback, 232 pages
ISBN 978-91-7894-099-8

Myths of Creation


Creation Myths: Emergence and Meanings
Psychoanalysis of Myth: Freud and Jung
Jungian Theories on Myth and Religion
Archetypes of Mythology - the book
Psychoanalysis of Mythology - the book
Ideas and Learning
Cosmos of the Ancients
Life Energy Encyclopedia

On my Creation Myths website:

Creation Myths Around the World
The Logics of Myth
Theories through History about Myth and Fable
Genesis 1: The First Creation of the Bible
Enuma Elish, Babylonian Creation
The Paradox of Creation: Rig Veda 10:129
Xingu Creation
Archetypes in Myth

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Myths in general and myths of creation in particular.

The wisdom of Taoism and the Tao Te Ching, its ancient source.

An encyclopedia of life energy concepts around the world.

Qi (also spelled chi or ki) explained, with exercises to increase it.

The ancient Chinese system of divination and free online reading.

Tarot card meanings in divination and a free online spread.

The complete horoscope chart and how to read it.








Stefan Stenudd

Stefan Stenudd

About me
I'm a Swedish author of fiction and non-fiction books in both English and Swedish. I'm also an artist, a historian of ideas, and a 7 dan Aikikai Shihan aikido instructor. Click the header to read my full bio.