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(1973). American Imago. XXIX, 1972: The Genesis of Magical and Transcendent Cults. René A. Spitz. Pp. 1-10.. Psychoanal Q., 42:318.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: American Imago. XXIX, 1972: The Genesis of Magical and Transcendent Cults. René A. Spitz. Pp. 1-10.

(1973). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 42:318

American Imago. XXIX, 1972: The Genesis of Magical and Transcendent Cults. René A. Spitz. Pp. 1-10.

This article originally appeared in volume ten of Freud's Imago under Spitz's former spelling of his name: R. Spiez; it was translated by Hella Freud Bernays.

Spitz distinguishes between magical and transcendental thinking in the origin of religious cults. Magical thinking implies a view of the deity as being equal in kind, and attempts to influence the deity through empirical modes. Magical rituals are seen as related to the act of intercourse and the relationship between mother and child—phenomena which are directly apprehended. Transcendental religious thinking is associated with the relationship between father and child, which was less tangibly apparent to ancient peoples on the basis of experience. Consistent with these ideas is the finding that the mother figure is central in the fertility religions which are directed toward the physical, ie., agriculture, while the father figure is always central in strongly metaphysical religions.

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Article Citation

(1973). American Imago. XXIX, 1972. Psychoanal. Q., 42:318

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