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Paradise MislaidHow We Lost Heaven and How We Can Regain It$
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Jeffrey Burton Russell

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195334586

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195334586.001.0001

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In and Out

In and Out

(p.105) Chapter 6 In and Out
Paradise Mislaid

Jeffrey Burton Russell

Oxford University Press

Few of the dominant intellectual trends of the twentieth century had any place for heaven. Darwinists, Marxists, Freudians, and almost all leading thinkers dismissed it from their various points of view. Twentieth-century trends came together to nearly obliterate the City of God among intellectual elites. Freud, who believed that civilization springs from the repression of primal urges, also believed that it was necessary because it produces the arts and sciences. But while some aspects of civilization are creative, he considered religion to be destructive. For Freud, religion was irrational and cognitively immature because it is an illusion. According to him, the religious urge was the product of the Oedipus complex and has no root in external reality. Moreover, since it is irrational, it blocks the way of the Progress from animism through religion to science. In literature, the dominant trends were toward atheism, with a pronounced tendency to cynicism.

Keywords:   Sigmund Freud, religion, Oedipus complex, Carl Jung, pragmatism, Emile Durkheim, Fundamentalists

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