sábado, 7 de mayo de 2011

Religion and madness

The question I try to answer in this paper is: How should we distinguish mad from sane religious belief? After looking at the clear-cut but opposed answers of Freud and Jung, I then examine the modern psychiatric answer, particularly as presented in the DSM IV. After arguing that each of the three answers is unsatisfactory, I look at what I take to be the more promising approach of Con Drury, Wittgenstein's friend and biographer, in an essay called "Madness and Religion," where, drawing on the religious histories of Joan of Arc, George Fox and Tolstoy and three of his own psychiatric patients, Drury suggests that there is no objective yet ethical way to make the distinction. This leads to my own answer, which is that the best we can do is to distinguish mad from neurotic religious belief; and hence that the safest position, although not the most comfortable, is the neurotic one. © 2006 Blanton-Peale Institute.


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