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Harrison, I.B. (1975). On the Maternal Origins of Awe. Psychoanal. St. Child, 30:181-195.

(1975). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 30:181-195

On the Maternal Origins of Awe

Irving B. Harrison, M.D.


Evidence has been adduced to support the contention that awe arises in relation to the mother. Normally, such awe is experienced as wonder, or as akin to that feeling. It lacks the terror or dread typically associated with phallic awe. Distortions of both types of awe, as a result of the traumatic impact of earlier experiences, were noted by Greenacre with respect to phallic awe. In this paper they were considered in relation to the mother, and clinical evidence has been offered in support of these propositions. The presentation is intended as a basis for examining Freud's views on religious and oceanic feelings, and for an investigation of current social issues.

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