Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

2020 Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming


  • Todd DuBoseEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-24348-7_232

The concept of fate is as old as there is recorded literature about human interactions with the gods, crossing multidisciplinary boundaries. Whether natural phenomenon is anthropomorphized as shapers of life directions, or belief in supernatural providence as an explanation for wonders and woes, the experience of how one’s life unfolds and of who or what (if anyone or anything) orchestrates it must certainly rank as the most primary of questions for human beings across history and culture. Embedded in any account of fate, Homeric, Shakespearean, sacred literature, or otherwise, is an accompanying declaration or puzzlement about fate’s relationship to choice, agency, and freedom (Anonymous 2150 BCE/1960; Eliade 1959; Homer 600 BCE/1999; Shakespeare 1623/1937). Moreover, fate is usually discussed with a melancholic intonation signifying the limitations of averting tragedy, perhaps a hasty conclusion that could overlook liberating factors that ease the burden of existence when fated in...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Chicago School of Professional PsychologyChicagoUSA