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Moxon, C. (1921). A Psycho-Analytic Study of the Christian Creed. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 2:54-64.

(1921). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 2:54-64

A Psycho-Analytic Study of the Christian Creed

Cavendish Moxon

The Christian Creeds are rich in symbols of primitive unconscious desires. The Creeds therefore make a direct appeal to the unsatisfied and repressed persons who desire a refuge from the world as it is. They offer a comforting metaphysic for the mind and a strong support for the will, in other words, revelation and salvation. The revelation is not to be denied, but it is a revelation of the men who made the Creeds, not of the God who made the world. Likewise the salvation promised is a psychological fact, at least for a certain type of mind that has been well named "the sick soul". The healthy minded have no need of the creedal medicine. The vigorous man finds a new incitement to thought and action in the very difficulties that overwhelm the weak. The Creeds concern the sinner who feels incapable by his own efforts of making moral and mental progress, and wishes once again to assume the infantile attitude to life. The unsatisfied and hungry soul is called to a "revival", a "re-birth". A child-like acceptance is demanded as a condition of entrance into the kingdom of psychological rest in Mother Church supported by the Father's everlasting arms. Infantile dependence on the parent's mind and will excludes the desire for self-determination and independent speculation, and makes the will to believe in the mysteries and miracles of the Creed. In the paragraphs that follow we propose to show in detail some of the sources of unconscious satisfaction provided by the Nicene Creed.

"I believe in one God the Father"

At the stage of narcissistic love, the "one God" symbolises the beloved ego-ideal with which one desires to have ecstatic communion.


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