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Ever since Freud put religion on the couch in "The Future of an Illusion," there has been an uneasy peace, with occasional skirmishes, between these two great disciplines of subjectivity. As prime meaning givers, God and the unconscious have vied for supremacy in our thinking about ourselves, especially our thinking about our human nature, our moral stature, and our destiny. Freud, in his bold manner, found projection, fear, and denial to be the wellspring of religion's domination over man. In analogous fashion, those giving primacy to the soul over the unconscious have long dismissed psychoanalysis as mechanistic, reductionistic, and hence inadequate to the examination of spirituality.  Soul on the Couch is premised on the belief that discourse about the soul and discourse from the couch can inform, and not simply ignore, one another. It brings together scholars and psychoanalysts at the forefront of an interdisciplinary dialogue that is vitally important to the growth of both disciplines. Their essays are not only models of reflective inquiry; they also illuminate the syntheses that emerge when analysts and scholars of religion bridge the gap that has long separated them and speak to one another.

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