Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

2020 Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming

Male God Images

  • Annette PetersonEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-24348-7_399

God images are psychological constructs of thoughts and feelings, coalesced into a complex relational gestalt. God images were once critiqued by psychologists of religion as projections, personifications to be rejected. Now they are recognized by contemporary psychologists of religion for their ability to provide psychological strength and resilience. They provide structure and improve functioning on the individual and the social level by helping us internalize a moral code and a shared world view.

Male God images hold sway over the mainstream religious imagination, affecting conscious and unconscious cultural mores and theological traditions. Male God images are particularly effective in structuring and strengthening the individual and his/her society. Replicating the Western traditional father’s role of provider, role model, and disciplinarian on the cosmic stage, male God images provide a sense of belonging, safety, and a clear moral compass. However, these benefits are not without...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Bibliography

  1. Beit-Hallahmi, B., & Argyle, M. (1975). God as father projection: The theory and the evidence. The British Journal of Medical Psychology, 48, 71–75.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Daly, M. (1973). Beyond God the father: Toward a philosophy of women’s liberation. Boston: Beacon.Google Scholar
  3. Edinger, E. F. (1996). The new God-image: A study of Jung’s key letters concerning the evolution of the western God-image (D. D. Cordic & C. Yates, Eds.). Wilmette: Chiron.Google Scholar
  4. Fowler, J. W. (1981). Stages of faith: The psychology of human development and the quest for meaning. San Francisco: HarperCollins.Google Scholar
  5. Freud, S. (1918/1950). Totem and taboo: Some points of agreement between the mental lives of savages and neurotics (trans: Brill, A. A.), SE 13. New York: Norton.Google Scholar
  6. Freud, S. (1928/1975). The future of an illusion (trans: Strachey, J.). New York: Norton.Google Scholar
  7. Genia, V. (1995). Counseling and psychotherapy of religious clients: A developmental approach. Westport. Praeger.Google Scholar
  8. Jung, C. G. (1958). A psychological approach to the dogma of the trinity. In Psychology and religion: West and East, CW 11 (trans: Hull, R. F. C.) (Vol. 11, pp. 107–200). Collected Works of C. G. Jung: Bollingen Series XX (H. Read, M. Fordham, & G. Adler, Eds.). New York: Pantheon.Google Scholar
  9. Meissner, W. W. (1984). Psychoanalysis and religious experience. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Peterson, A. O. (2005). The dynamic God image: Psychoanalytic object relational, developmental and Jungian theories of God image and their implications for psychotherapy. Dissertation, UMI, California Institute of Integral Studies.Google Scholar
  11. Rizzuto, A.-M. (1979). The birth of the living God: A psychoanalytic study. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  12. Vergote, A., & Tamayo, A. (1981). The parental figures and the representation of God: A psychological and cross-cultural study. In Religion and society (Vol. 21). The Hague: Mouton.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.RiversideUSA