Literature and Theology vol:11 issue:2 pages:125-143
Lacanian analysis and Christian religion have many things in common: the focus on human finitude and acceptance of the word in the symbolical castration; the practice to concentrate on the âOtherâ (suprapersonal culture and personal unconscious) rather than on the âIâ in the self; respect of the unique complexity of each person along with the consciousness of one's not knowing the O/other, and the insistence on a symbolical interpretation of the bodyâs interactions with the world.
Lacanian theory considers human perception as constituted of unmediated aspects and a Real, an Imaginary and a Symbolic aspect. Great fear makes the unmediated prevail, which results in an arhetorical expression; a routine attitude which feeds the Real produces unrhetorical expression; rivalry which feeds the Imaginary produces the rhetorical utterance; trust and fascination feed the metarhetorical mode which is steered by the Symbolical perception where language, the Other, is central. Going through the Oedipus complex is of vital importance as it moves from a possessive competitive stance to âla bonne distanceâ, which informs a symbolical perception.
Lacanian therapy is based on three main factors: a self-reminder of unknowing (there is more than meets the ear), the transference (a matter of interaction, not of intersubjectivity) and symbolic readings (the analystâs periscope must probe beyond the analysandâs conscious rhetoric).
In the Bible Jesus goes through phases of arhetorical expression (sweating water and blood); he withstands the devilâs temptation to take an imaginary position of power and later says he is not God but the Way; he accepts symbolic castration by doing the will of his father to and through his death. Like a psychoanalyst, he warns people for imaginary interpretations (Ecce homo) and lets the audience do the interpreting (adulteress, Pilate, â¦), while inviting people to follow their deeper desire. This is a learning process, which for the apostles ends in the success of Pentecost where they can speak from unconscious to unconscious. The article concludes with some parallels between successful analysis and successful prayer and with a brief analysis of Rublevâs Trinity which is a perfectly idealized picture of the split subject which reached the Symbolic order.