This book assesses the legacy of Ana María Rizzuto, particularly The Birth of the Living God, her contribution to the psychoanalysis of religion. Contributors to this volume offer clinical and theoretical insights concerning Rizzuto’s examination of the origin of God representations in early childhood and their elaboration across the life cycle.
Commentaries by Ana María Rizzuto
Contributions by John McDargh; Mario Aletti; Arne Austad; Leif Gunnar Engedal; Anthony Stern; Jacob Waldenmaier and Gry Stålsett
The book has the freshness of interactive dialogues that cross, connect and weave themselves between Rizzuto and a Freud she admires and defies, and between her and the different authors, providing the reader with a true feast of interdisciplinary thinking. The fecundity of Rizzuto’s work is demonstrated by the diversity of new developments it has given rise to in both theoretical and clinical psychoanalysis. This intellectually fascinating experience motivates the reader to rethink spirituality, religion and contemporary culture, leaving us wondering about the representation of God underlying new atheisms and the violent religious fundamentalisms of our century.
— Alicia Zanotti de Savanti, emerita, Ponticia Universidad Católica Argentina
Ana-María Rizzuto is an essential figure in the psychoanalytical approach to the religious fact and in the understanding of the origin and development of God images. Being a witness to her dialogue about her work with some major figures in the field is a gift for which we should be thankful to the publisher. Clinical practice and theory come together in this volume in an unsurpassable way, mutually shedding light on and enriching each other.
— Carlos Domínguez, University of Granada
Reineke and Goodman have gathered a stellar group of scholars and clinicians to honor the thirty-fifth anniversary of Ana-Maria Rizzuto’s groundbreaking publication, The Birth of the Living God. Confirming the impact and ongoing significance of the work of the ‘mother’ of the psychoanalytic study of religious experience, contributors examine Rizzuto’s personal history and cultural backstory; apply her insights in case studies and personal reflections; tease apart cultural tensions between faith and reason, reality and illusion; and extend her legacy through explorations of atheism, belief maintenance, and the maternal matrix underlying personal and cultural fears of monsters. Rizzuto is powerfully present within the volume, commenting insightfully on each essay. A tour de force, this impressive compilation will provide rich resources for future psychoanalytic explorations of religion.
— Diane Jonte-Pace, Santa Clara University
Ana-María Rizzuto and the Psychoanalysis of Religion will become the classic text about a classic text. The material here will enrich the work of the clinician and deepen the thinking of the scholar. A crucial read for anyone concerned with psychotherapy and religion, contemporary psychoanalysis, and/or the study of religion or who wants to understand the psychological sources of religious beliefs.
— James W. Jones, Rutgers University
About the Editors:
David M. Goodman is associate dean for academic affairs at the Woods College of Advancing Studies at Boston College, teaching associate at Harvard Medical School and Cambridge Hospital, and a psychologist in private practice.
Martha J. Reineke is professor of religion in the Department of Philosophy and World Religions at the University of Northern Iowa.