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Figueiredo, L.C. (2004). Belief, hope and faith. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 85(6):1439-1453.

(2004). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 85(6):1439-1453

Belief, hope and faith

Luis Claudio Figueiredo

A case of hysteria is presented in order to create a frame of reference for the author's approach to the concepts of hope, belief and faith. A difference between hope as a ‘sad passion’ (which is here called regressive hope) and hope as a principle of mental functioning is established. The concept of hope will at first always be based on beliefs—either beliefs organised in the paranoid—schizoid position (called here fragmented and delusional beliefs)—or those organised from the depressive position (complex systems of beliefs, which end up being dogmatic); the latter typically occur in neurotics. It is suggested here that there is another possibility for hope, which is based on faith. The meaning of faith is considered here externally to the religious sense. The solid establishment of hope as a principle—based on faith—can be viewed as responsible for the opening up of creative potentials and as one of the main aims of analysis. Such an aim, however, requires the establishment of a deep relationship, both in theory and in clinical practice, between the Kleinian question of the depressive position and the Freudian question of the Oedipus complex.

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