Religious Experience and Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy

  • Kaisa Puhakka


Religion is a world view that imbues thought, feeling, and action with significance and value. Such a characterization is, of course, too broad to be considered a definition of religion. Its purpose is merely to call attention to some basic features that religion shares with other forms of human thought and action—in particular, with science. Scientific activity, like religious activity, is embedded in a world view that furnishes its rationale and purpose. The religion of the average person is seldom articulated as a coherent system of value and belief. But the same holds true for the average scientist. As Kuhn (1971) has pointed out, the practitioners of science are usually unaware of the presuppositions that guide their scientific practice. Long before Kuhn called attention to the similarity between this aspect of scientific and religious practice, William James (1902/1979) had noted another obvious similarity, namely, that not only religious ideas and sentiments but also scientific ones are rooted in the psychological and physiological conditions of the human mind.


Religious Experience Human Thought Religious Orientation Religious Commitment Human Consciousness 
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

© Plenum Press, New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kaisa Puhakka
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryMedical College of OhioToledoUSA

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