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 Religion at Trinity College and the Department for the Study of Religion in the University of Toronto. 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). She is a psychoanalyst in private practice.


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: 18 Feb 2020 doi: 10.1558/equinox.27416. Jul 2020

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