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The Author Section is a useful way to review an author’s works published in PEP-Web. It is ordered alphabetically by the Author’s surname. After clicking the matching letter, search for the author’s full name.

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Cooper, P.C. (2004). Terror and Transformation: The Ambiguity of Religion in Psychoanalytic Perspective, by James William Jones, Taylor & Francis/Routledge, 2002, 144 pp.. Am. J. Psychoanal., 64(1):116-118.
    

(2004). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 64(1):116-118

Terror and Transformation: The Ambiguity of Religion in Psychoanalytic Perspective, by James William Jones, Taylor & Francis/Routledge, 2002, 144 pp.

Review by:
Paul C. Cooper, M.S., NCPsyA

Jones opens his discussion with a personal vignette that provides an entry into the book's basic question: “What does it mean to call something sacred?” (p. 2). From this starting point, he explores the psychological forces operating in denoting something as sacred. He thus provides a fresh slant on timely and relevant issues related to the psychoanalysis of the sacred from within the perspective of the psychoanalytic relational model. Jones writes, “This relational approach represents a fundamental revision of earlier psychoanalytic views of human nature” (p. 5). Consistent with the relational stance, he asserts, “Such a view conceives of the building blocks of personality neither as biological drives and defenses against them nor as archetypal forms but rather as the internalization of relational episodes laid down in the course of our development. These relational themes echo and re-echo through our devotional practices, spiritual disciplines, cherished philosophical and theological convictions, and our states of ecstasy” (p. 5). From this vantage point, Jones makes an important contribution to the rapidly expanding body of work on the psychoanalysis of religion.

Jones provides a clear overview and a detailed review of his subject matter. He writes cogently and convincingly on the development, transformations, uses and misuses of the psychic process that psychoanalysts describe as “idealization,” a core relational concept.

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