Freud, Sigmund - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Religion

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Freud, Sigmund

FREUD, SIGMUND (1856–1939), originator of psychoanalysis, a method of treating those mental disorders commonly designated as the neuroses. Psychoanalysis began as a method of healing, but became also a psychological theory of personality or mind and a general theory of culture—of morality, group life, society, history, art, and religion. When treating his patients, Freud found it necessary to emphasize their unconscious feelings and thoughts, which, precisely because they were unacknowledged, created symptoms. Freud believed that dreams and dream symbolism were keys to his patients' unconscious thinking, and also to their symptoms. It was therefore inevitable that his method of treatment would generate theoretical concepts important for understanding the human mind, and that these in turn would lead him to psychological conclusions about the cultural meanings of the symbols found in religious myths, beliefs, and rituals. Freud's psychoanalytic theory is widely accepted...

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This section contains 2,884 words
(approx. 10 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Freud, Sigmund Encyclopedia Article
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Macmillan
Freud, Sigmund from Macmillan. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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