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Kime, P. (2016). Nina Coltart and the Border of Bethlehem. J. Anal. Psychol., 61(5):607-624.

(2016). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 61(5):607-624

Nina Coltart and the Border of Bethlehem

Philip Kime

Nina Coltart's freedom in addressing delicate areas such as spirituality and Buddhism within a psychoanalytic framework has opened borders between different psychoanalytic communities. This paper sets out to identify a deep-rooted philosophical tension that runs through several aspects of Coltart's work starting from her ‘Slouching towards Bethlehem … or, thinking the unthinkable in psychoanalysis'. In exploring this central topic in depth psychology, of the distinction between thinkable and unthinkable contents, the author argues that it is not a fundamental distinction in Coltart's work but is rather a particular example of a more fundamental structural dichotomy which pervades her approach and which manifests in several different guises. It is the breadth and sincerity of Coltart's writings which make this a useful exercise, not only for understanding the structure of her work but also in illuminating some structural tensions which permeate depth-psychological pursuits in general.

[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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