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Bergmann, M.S. (2009). On: Leaps of Faith: Is Forgiveness a Useful Concept?. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 90(3):640-640.

(2009). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 90(3):640-640

On: Leaps of Faith: Is Forgiveness a Useful Concept? Related Papers

Martin S. Bergmann

Dear Editors,

A few weeks ago I had the privilege of listening to the presentation of Henry Smith's paper, Leaps of faith: Is forgiveness a useful concept?, which has now appeared in the International Journal of Psychoanalysis. As I was listening a thought occurred to me that I would like to share.

Following Freud's dual instinct theory, every attitude we have is a mixture of aggression and libido, including the relationship of the superego to the ego. If, for whatever reason, prayer or psychoanalytic work, a shift has taken place in favor of libido, the subjective feeling of this shift will be experienced as forgiveness. Psychoanalysis is therefore in a position to explain forgiveness not available to other thinkers.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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