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David Geiringer

intellectual disciplines. The Catholic hierarchy was initially hostile to the publication of Sigmund Freud’s theories and continued to warn against the dangers of psychoanalysis up until the mid-1950s. In 1952, Pope Pius XII vigorously cautioned against ‘psychotherapeutic treatments that seek to unleash the sexual instinct for seemingly therapeutic reasons’. 26 In the same year, Time magazine ran an

in The Pope and the pill
David Geiringer

CMAC’s counsellors were afforded a high level of autonomy in almost all aspects of their counselling, but sex remained a topic that was closely governed. The CMAC’s understanding of female sexual pleasure Just as the papal commission’s discussion of female sexuality involved a reversal in the central hierarchy’s approach to Freud, so the CMAC’s work in the 1960s represented

in The Pope and the pill
David Geiringer

John Simon published their seminal work Sexual Conduct in 1970, which, similarly to Freud fifty years earlier, observed that sex had become a central building block in people’s identities. 16 But Gagnon and Simon were to turn Freud on his head, arguing that it was less biological urges that drove sexual experience and more a complex set of cultural scripts which gave meaning to these urges. 17

in The Pope and the pill
David Geiringer

selfhood. Erik Erikson extended Freud’s ‘developmental theory’ in his work of 1950, Childhood and Society , identifying childhood as a determinative stage in the ‘psychosocial development’ of religious identities. 64 In the same year, Erich Fromm published Psychoanalysis and Religion , which argued that religion primarily constituted a childish desire to remain attached

in The Pope and the pill