Psychoanalysis and Theology Syllabus

I’m going to be participating in a directed reading this Fall on psychoanalysis and (ostensibly) theology. With some help from Adam and others, this is the reading list that we have put together so far. The texts may get modified as we go along, but as you can see, we are mostly focused on reading primary texts to build the foundation for doing work in theology. It was difficult to find a balance among the potential texts. Originally there was much more Freud, but cuts had to be made and here is the list:

Week 1: Ricoeur — Freud and Philosophy

Week 2: Freud — Three Essays, Mourning and Melancholy, Rat Man

Week 3: Freud — Beyond the Pleasure Principle, Group Psychology, Ego and the Id

Week 4: Freud — Totem and Taboo, Moses and Monotheism, Future of an Illusion

Week 5: Lacan — Mirror Stage, Function and Field, Freudian Thing

Week 6: Lacan — Instance of the Letter, Subversion of the Subject

Week 7: Lacan — Seminar VII

Week 8: Kristeva — Desire in Language

Week 9: Kristeva — Tales of Love

Week 10: Santner — On the Psychotheology of Everyday Life

Week 11: Zizek — Sublime Object of Ideology

Week 12: Butler — Psychic Life of Power

Week 13: Deleuze and Guattari — Anti-Oedipus

8 thoughts on “Psychoanalysis and Theology Syllabus

  1. This looks great. Some of these are more manageable than others in terms of page length. Are you trying to cover all of _Freud and Philosophy_ and _Anti-Oedipus_ each in one week?

    re: secondary sources, I recall Yale UP putting out a series on psychoanalysis and religion (from the late 80s/early 90s, perhaps). I read at least two of them: Jones’ _Contemporary Psychoanalysis and Religion_ and one by Hans Kung. Might be worth looking into. Also, something about the way the readings are arranged makes me think of Guattari’s work on transverality. This certainly links up with the latter two readings you have for week three and also some of the more recent stuff.

  2. Thanks for the tip — I looked over the text that you mention, but it seemed as though it might be a little dated at this point and we decided to stick closer to primary texts. Perhaps I’ll check it out afterwards if you think it’s worthwhile.

    I am concerned about the Riceour and D&G. We are all starting on the first text prior to class, but I doubt we will be able to cover all of Anti-Oedipus, especially at the end of the semester.

  3. Yeh, those books probably are dated, but I don’t know: I don’t keep up with the latest stuff in psychoanalysis. As for Anti-Oedipus, I think, if you’re not going to have time to work through the entire text, you should focus on Part 2: Psychoanalysis and Familialism: The Holy Family. Certainly reading about the three syntheses in Part 1 would help you make sense of what’s going on in Part 2. Also, Foucault’s preface is short and good.

  4. re: Lacan, there is also the stuff on god/religion in III and XVII. The first few pages of XI are fun as well, although the probably don’t fit in with the other readings you have.

  5. Have you read Peter Gay’s work on Freud? It is a little dated and much of it is geared toward historians but you may want to take a look.

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