Journal of Religion and Health

, Volume 25, Issue 3, pp 198–206 | Cite as

Adult maturational processes and the facilitating environment

  • Marvin W. Acklin


The psychoanalytic theory of religion has been seriously limited in its development, largely owing to Freud's emphasis on religion's neurotic elements and an overemphasis on the infantile origins of religious development. This paper offers a conceptual framework and advances the thesis, based on contemporary psychoanalytic, developmental theory, that 1) Erikson's concept of epigenesis has applicability across the life span; 2) that beyond-the-self identity is constituent to human maturation and self-completion; 3) that successful adult maturation requires a mirroring-facilitating environment; and 4) that religious values, meanings, images, and communities play an essential role-as-elements of the facilitating environment of later life.


Life Span Conceptual Framework Maturational Process Developmental Theory Psychoanalytic Theory 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Institutes of Religion and Health 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marvin W. Acklin
    • 1
  1. 1.Loyola University of ChicagoChicago

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