The Heart of Man’s Destiny
Lacanian Psychoanalysis and Early Reformation Thought
Routledge – 2012 – 168 pages
Series: Psychoanalytic Explorations
Can Luther's writings inform us on the fundamental questions of Freudian psychoanalysis? Does an intellectual filiation between early Reformation thought and psychoanalysis exist? Does Lacanian psychoanalysis offer an instrument for analysing theological writings?
In The Heart of Man's Destiny, Herman Westerink offers a new reading of Lacan's seventh seminar, The Ethics of Psychoanalysis. Working from an innovative perspective, this book explores the close relationship between Freudian psychoanalysis and the ideas of the early Reformation.
Lacan claimed that to be unaware of the connection between Freud and early Reformation constituted a fundamental misunderstanding of the kind of problems psychoanalysis addresses. Westerink carefully explores these problems and shows that Lacanian psychoanalysis, with its emphasis on desire and law, transgression, and symbolization, draws on fundamental ideas first formulated in the writings of Luther and Calvin. By relating psychoanalysis to early Reformation thought, Westerink not only shows Lacan's writings in a completely new light, but also makes possible an innovative reading of early modern theology itself.
The Heart of Man's Destiny breaks new ground by providing both a controversial as well as a fresh perspective on both Luther and Calvin, and on Freudo-Lacanian psychoanalysis. This valuable contribution to the complex character of psychoanalysis will be of interest to analysts and psychotherapists, as well academics and postgraduates with an interest in theology, philosophy and ethics.
Introduction. Cultural Paternity: Mapping the Terrain. The Will and the Hidden God. Original Sin and Moral Responsibility. Conscience. Final Remarks.
Herman Westerink is Assistant Professor of Psychology of Religion at the Protestant Theological Faculty of the University of Vienna, Austria.