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Rector, L.J. (1996). Chapter 15 The Function of Early Selfobject Experiences in Gendered Representations of God. Progress in Self Psychology, 12:249-268.
    

(1996). Progress in Self Psychology, 12:249-268

Chapter 15 The Function of Early Selfobject Experiences in Gendered Representations of God

Lallene J. Rector, Ph.D.

As though the world had not riddles enough, we are set the new problem of understanding how these other people [religious believers] have been able to acquire their belief in the Divine Being [Freud, 1939].

Since the beginning of psychoanalysis, various attempts have been made to explain the predilection of many persons to seek meaning, consolation, and inspiration in religion. Of historical and contemporary interest has been the experience of an individual's relationship to the sacred, or to a Divine Other. Who and what is God to the individual? What does one believe and feel about God? More importantly, what does God feel about him or her? How are these beliefs formed and what changes them?

This chapter addresses a particular aspect of the subjective experience of an anthropomorphized god-image, that is, the significance of gendered representations of God and the role of early selfobject experiences in an individual's preference for a masculine or feminine god-image.

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