What is the 'this' that Changes Everything?

Legacies of the Occult - Psychoanalysis, Religion and Unconscious Communication - Marsha Aileen Hewitt

Marsha Aileen Hewitt [+-]
University of Toronto
Marsha Aileen Hewitt is Professor of Social Ethics and Religion in the Faculty of Divinity at Trinity College, and teaches in the Department of Theology in the Toronto School of Theology. She also teaches in the Trinity College Arts programme, Ethics, Society and the Law. Professor Hewitt’s books include From Theology to Social Theory: Juan Luis Segundo and the Theology of Liberation (1990), Critical Theory of Religion: A Feminist Analysis (1995) and Freud on Religion (2014).


This chapter discusses Freud’s ideas on telepathy considered in the context of his views on the irreconcilable nature of science and religion. Some contemporary American psychoanalysts oppose Freud’s oppositional dualism in their embrace of paranormal science and quantum mechanics. They prove and explain not only telepathy, but also justify belief in a transcendent order of reality by providing epistemological warrant for spiritual beliefs and intuitions. A critical examination of the most important representative of “parapsychoanalysis”, Elizabeth Lloyd Mayer, illustrates the continuing influence of Myers’s and James’s efforts to integrate spirituality and science. Situating Mayer and her colleagues in a dialogical relation to religious studies, especially Eliade’s thought, helps illustrate how reliance on paranormal science blurs and confuses, rather than integrates or reconciles, the distinctions between science and spirituality.

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Hewitt, Marsha Aileen. What is the 'this' that Changes Everything?. Legacies of the Occult - Psychoanalysis, Religion and Unconscious Communication. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. Jul 2020. ISBN 9781781792797. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=27416. Date accessed: 14 Oct 2019 doi: 10.1558/equinox.27416. Jul 2020

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