HIS 392 • Psychology and Religion in Modern American Culture
6:00 PM-9:00 PM
This course will introduce a central but as yet underwritten and underanalyzed quadrant of cultural historythat is, changing conceptions, conscious and unconscious assumptions, and characterizations of the inner life and its relation to cosmologyand how they change over time in a historical period. Within this vast subject of life as experienced, as understood, and as believed, we will explore the intertwined and ever-changing influence of psychological and religious visions of reality in modern culture. My hope is that the seminar will inspire new work in the field or at least an appreciation of its relevance to approaches to culture more dominant in this particular academic climate. More specifically, it hopes to serve as an introduction to major but elusive problems concerning the experience of everyday life in modern American culture, specifically the conflict, interpenetration, and confusion of religious and psychotherapeutic understandings of existence, healing, and human consciousness.
Required Books (all available in paperback and, cheaply, online or used): Robert H. Abzug, COSMOS CRUMBLING: AMERICAN REFORM AND THE RELIGIOUS IMAGINATION Peter Berger, A RUMOR OF ANGELS Sigmund Freud, THE QUESTION OF LAY ANALYSIS William James, THE VARIETIES OF RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE Carl Jung, MODERN MAN IN SEARCH OF MEANING Suzanne Kirschner, THE RELIGIOUS AND ROMANTIC ORIGINS OF PSYCHOANALYSIS Rollo May, THE DISCOVERY OF BEING Eric Santner, ON THE PSYCHOTHEOLOGY OF EVERYDAY LIFE COURSE PACKET OF SHORTER READINGS