Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

2010 Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming, Kathryn Madden, Stanton Marlan


  • Lee W. Bailey
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-71802-6_528

Projection is the term used to describe a common psychological dynamic, well known in psychotherapy and critical studies of religion. It means the attribution of qualities of person A to person or thing B that can be traced back to the unconscious contents of person A, such as love, hate, or divinity. It is a useful theory that describes both normal and pathological ways of involvement in the world, such as falling in love at first sight. It has been used to attack religion as “nothing but” illusory projections of an infantile father complex, but recent thinkers have challenged this Pre-theoretical “projections” are described in ancient literature.

Ancient Greeks

Pre-theoretical “projections” are described in ancient literature. Xenophanes proclaimed: “But if cattle and horses or lions had hands, or were able to draw with their hands and do the works that men can do, horses would draw the forms of the gods like horses, and cattle like cattle, and they would make their bodies such as...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lee W. Bailey
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Philosophy and ReligionIthaca College (Retired)IthacaUSA