Een nieuwe Kijk op Projectie als godsdienstig Verschijnsel | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 39, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2542-6583
  • E-ISSN: 2590-3268



In this article the author tries to bring new perspectives into the discussion on Projection as it has been conducted up till now in Holland. He takes his starting point in the consideration that the problem of projection for the theologian is in the first place not a problem of observation, but of motivation: important is to ask why people do project.

Freud and his followers perceive behind projection the need to escape from the suffering and the threat of reality by creating an illusionary ‘Wunsch-Welt’. Closer analysis, however, shows that essential for the religious relation is – with a formulation used by Schillebeeckx – ‘to give credit’. This element becomes visible in the relation with the parents: in a relation of trust the child gives itself to his parents in order to enter on the basis of this life’s reality with an adult ‘courage to be’, (cf. the little monkeys in the experiments of Harlow and the ‘basic trust’ of Erikson). There is a paradox of achieving independence through dependence. The projections of parental images onto God therefore are phenomena at the surface, on a deeper level the ‘basic trust’ is important. Of course there are infantile degenerations of this religious relation, but they do not touch the essence of this argument.

In an ongoing discussion with modern authors like Freud, Fortmann, Schillebeeckx, Vergote, Erikson, Kohut and others the authors develops his thesis.


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