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Dr. James W. Jones

Fall, 2007

Office Hours: Monday 1:00-3:00 & by appointment

Ph.: 732-932-9623 [Please use this phone number and not email to contact Dr. Jones]


The following books are at the Douglass Campus Bookstore and New Jersey Books on College Ave:

J. Fowler, Stages of Faith

S. Freud, The Future of An Illusion

K. Jung, Psychology and Religion

J. Jones, Contemporary Psychoanalysis And Religion


All other readings are on electronic reserve through the Douglass Library.


Purpose: The purpose of this class is to introduce students to the role religion plays in the lives of individuals and to the field of religion and psychology. The first half of the course will focus on models of moral and religious development. The second half will introduce students to psychoanalytic theories of religion and personality.


Requirements: There will be 3 combination multiple choice-short essay exams as marked on the syllabus. They will be given during the first hour of the class meeting time and the last one during the regularly scheduled final exam time. No make up exams will be given unless either: (1)You can document that YOU (not a friend or relative) were confined to the hospital when the quiz was given. Making an appointment at the health service will NOT suffice. Or (2) a close relative has died and the exam is being given the day of the funeral: a copy of the death notice or obituary is required for documentation. All make up exams must be taken within one week of the date of the quiz.


Note: All cell phones, pagers, etc. must be turned off in class. Anyone whose device goes off during class will be asked to leave for the remainder of that period. During an exam, they will receive an “F” on that exam.


                                                              Course Outline




                              Part One: The Place of Religion in Human Development


Moral Development and its Critics

     Lawrence Kohlberg, "The six stages of moral judgment" from The Philosophy of Moral

                                        Development   [On electronic reserve, Douglass Library]

     “Lawrence Kohlberg Biography.”

     Carol Gilligan, In A Different Voice,  Chapt. 2 “Images of Relationship” [On electronic

                                                  reserve, Douglass Library]

     James Fowler, Stages of Faith, part II


Religious Development

     James Fowler, Stages of Faith, parts IV-V


first exam


Religion in the Life Cycle

     Erik Erikson, “The human life cycle” from A Way of Looking at Things   [On electronic

                                reserve, Douglass Library]

     “Erik Erikson Biography”


                                Part Two:   Religion and Dynamics of Personality


Freud and Religion

     S. Freud, The Future of An Illusion


Jungian Psychology of Religion

     K. Jung, Psychology and Religion


second exam


[11/19 - no class, instructor away &. Thanksgiving Vacation]


Current Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Religion

     J. Jones, Contemporary Psychoanalysis and Religion


12/10 – Conclusion and review


Exam Period: Wednesday, 12/19/07 – Last exam, 1 hour, from 12:00-1:00. Last exam must be taken at this time.





Dr. James W. Jones




Jean Piaget (early 20th century Swiss Zoologist)

Formal Operations (12-? years): abstract thinking

3.   What is intelligence?


Lawrence Kohlberg (contemporary American)

            II. Conventional

            III. Post-conventional

[7. Cosmic Perspective on Life’s meaning: religious grounding for morality]


Two levels of moral/religious disagreement;

The structural developmental  paradigm as an implicit theory of religion

Does Morality require Religion? In what sense? Is the moral life a meaningful life?

Religion as a boundary concept. 


Carol Gilligan (contemporary American)

What did Kohlberg discover? What did Kohlberg miss?

Two trajectories of moral reasoning

Two epistemologies

Two different visions of the human situation

Is moral reasoning gendered?

Different moralities represent different visions of human nature and our place in the


Different research methodologies: a narrative method



James Fowler (contemporary American)

A. Faith as a developmental construct

B. Faith as a general, encompassing sensibility

C. Stages of Faith Development

Religion as a development phenomenon: how our religious ideas change

The problematics of conventional faith—the question of religious language as a

              developmental issue

Adult development: a faith of one’s own, religion beyond conventionality

The goal of development; the dark nights of the soul

Post-critical religion




 Jean Piaget


2. Pre- Operational

3. Concrete Operations

4. Formal  Operations

L. Kohlberg

1. Punishment Obedience

2. Instrumental Exchange

3. Interpersonal Conformity

4. Social System Conformity

5. Social Contract

6. Universal Values

[7. Cosmic Perspective]

J. Fowler

1. Intuitive

2. Mythic Literal

3. Synthetic Conventional

4. Individuative Reflective

5. Paradoxical

6. Universalizing



Contemporary Research on Children’s Spirituality


Limitations of Stage Theories

  1. Loss of individual variation
  2. Downplays effects of socialization
  3. Religion more than cognition, cognition more than cognition
  4. Stages as “hard” or overlapping


Cognition remains a constructive and structural process


Recent findings

  1. Children naturally interested in religious/spiritual issues
  2. Interaction of innate and environmental processes, socialization is not passive “transmission.”
  3. Recognition of individual variation and overlap of cognitive processes at any age—back to the issue of methodology


Erik Erikson  (1902-1994)

I. Biographical background

Psychoanalytic training

The construction of identity

The turn towards culture.


II. Basic terms

              Ego—the agent of identity

Actuality—the actual world of lived experience

Virtue—identity expressed in action


III. Stages on life’s way

       Stage                          Polarities                        Virtue


IV. The nature of development

              Polarities and crises


The development of moral selfhood

To live “in spite of”

Morality vs. moralism


V. The function of religion

              Support and affirmation

              “Theodicy” as a developmental resource

              Guidance for life

              Ritual confirmation of meaning and the sacredness of the life cycle

              Mature vs. immature religion


VI. A gender(ed) reflection on Erikson’s  model

              Generativity & care

              Can autonomy lead to generativity?

How the “virtues” get gendered in modern society; the split of public & private,

              male & female



Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)

                         Part One:  Basic Theory


1.      Scientific Background

2.      Cultural Background


1.      Medical degree: Hypnosis, hysteria, and Charcot

2.      Joseph Breuer and Anna O.

3.      The mind-body problem and the beginning of psychoanalysis

Basic Concepts

1.      Libido

2.      Oedipal/Electra complexes and infantile sexuality

3.      Dual instinct theory – eros and thanatos

4.      Id, Ego, Super-ego and the reality principle

5.      Personality and conflict – “where Id is, let Ego be”

6.      Repression and the dynamic unconscious

                        Part Two: Freud and Religion

Freud’s religious history

Defense mechanism and the return of the repressed

1.      Projection and the idea of God

2.      Obsessional  activity and ritual – “the obsessive neurosis of mankind”

3.      Primary & Secondary process and the supernatural & the natural

The Future of an Illusion (1927)

1.      The meaning of illusion

2.      3 functions of religion – religion as compensation

Totem and Taboo (1913)

1.      The Oedipal origin of religion and culture: how men become civilized

2.      The deep structure of patriarchal religion and culture

Conclusion: Freud’s two theories of religion

1.      Illusion and the id; civilization and the super-ego

2.      Renunciation, religion, and gender

3.      Freud and the project of modernity

Carl Jung (1875 – 1961


1.      Religious upbringing

2.      Break with Freud

3.      “Experiments with the unconscious” – Salome, Elijah, Philemon

Anatomy of the psyche

1.      Four functions                                                Thinking

2.      Neurosis as self-division               Feeling                             Sensing



            Rational ego

            Personal Unconscious

            Animus & Anima

            Collective Unconscious (archetypes)


3.  The objective psyche


1.      Childhood: inflation

2.      Alienation and the fall into consciousness

3.      Reunion of Ego and Self

·        Shadow

·        Soul Image

·        Sage

·        SELF

Interpretation of dreams: amplification

Psyche and Soma


1.      Phenomenological method

2.      Individuation and religion

3.      Symbols and Psychic energy

4.      The revitalization of religion

5.      The coincidence of Opposites and the problem of evil

6.      Psychology as religion, religion as psychology

7.      The reduction and retrieval of religion

8.      Beyond modernity, science and religion

Contemporary Psychoanalysis

From drive to relationship

·        Motivation

·        Internalization

·        Human nature

Ana-Maria Rizzuto

1. The origin of our private presentation of God  

·        The child’s wondering “why?

·        Consolidating the inner object world – mirroring

·        The inevitability of a god-representation

2.  The developmental process

·        Re-working the god-representation

·        The psychological origins of atheism

D.W. Winnicott

·        “From pediatrics to psychoanalysis”

·        “There’s no such thing as a baby”

·        Transitional objects & experiences

·        Culture and symbols

Contemporary Psychoanalysis and religion

·        Religion as the carrier of our relational history