Psychology of Belief and the Rise of Secular Spirituality
New Books in Big IdeasNew Books in PsychoanalysisNew Books in PsychologyNew Books in ReligionNew Books in Religion & FaithNew Books in Science & TechnologyNew Books in SecularismNew Books in Spiritual Practice and MindfulnessNew Books Network May 21, 2017 Carrie Lynn Evans
There are many fronts in the argument against the existence of a god or gods and veracity of religious narratives. Some familiar approaches are to critique the philosophical underpinnings of religious ideology or to make a case from the perspective of scientific evidence and the physical laws of reality. Inventing God: Psychology of Belief and the Rise of Secular Spirituality (Routledge, 2016), written by Dr. Jon Mills, argues from the perspective of psychology and posits that god is a psychological creation signifying ultimate ideality. In other words, He is the ultimate wish fulfillment, the forgiving all-powerful father you always wanted, the absolution of all your fears, the antidote to death. Mills writes that the conception of god is the manifestation of humanity’s denial and response to natural deprivation. He promotes secular humanism and a personal search for the numinous as a positive, life-affirming alternative.
Dr. Jon Mills is a philosopher, psychoanalyst, active clinical psychologist, as well as Professor of Psychology & Psychoanalysis at the Adler Graduate Professional School in Toronto. He is the author and editor of many books and recipient of awards, including the the Otto Weininger Memorial Award for lifetime achievement in 2015, given by the Canadian Psychological Association.
Carrie Lynn Evans is a PhD student at Universite Laval in Quebec City.