CHAPTER VI

 

THE IMAGINATION, THE UNCONSCIOUS, FAITH AND MORAL DEVELOPMENT

Raymond Studzinski

 

Ruby Turpin, in Flannery O’Connor’s short story "Revelation," is a woman basically satisfied with her life.1 As she sits with her husband, Claud, in a doctor’s waiting room, she sizes up the people around her and herself in relation to them. People fall into facile categories for her — the well-dressed, the common, white-trash, niggers. She utters a prayer of thanksgiving that everything is the way it is in her life. But suddenly her comfortable world begins to unravel when a book is hurled across the room at her.

The ugly girl who hurled the book at her proceeds to choke her. The girl had been staring at Ruby before the incident. Now, as the girl is finally being held down on the floor by the nurse and the girl’s mother, she and Ruby gaze at each other again. In that gaze Ruby feels that this demented girl knows her in an intensely personal way. Ruby presses the girl to speak to her and is answered by a whispered "go back to hell where you came from, you old wart hog."2 The image of the wart hog from hell stays with her long after she leaves the doctor’s office. She tries to fight it off, but the image has power and stays. She ponders why that message should have been given to her. She was not trashy like some of the others in the waiting room. She rails against heaven for this injustice. Then, while she is outside, she has a vision. On a purple streak in the sky looking like a bridge extending upward from the earth, she saw a procession of folks going toward heaven. At the front of this crowd were those she thought little of — the white-trash and niggers. At the very end of the procession were people like herself, the righteous who had lived respectably. They appeared to be shocked as their virtues were being purged away. After the vision fades, Ruby remains for a while immobilized but then heads back to her house with a new awareness.

The case of Ruby Turpin can serve as a point of reference in a discussion of how people come to take up a particular imaginative perspective on themselves and the world, how that perspective guides their moral activity, and how that perspective can undergo major revision in the course of a transforming moment. More specifically, Ruby’s way of construing and operating in the world has an imaginal base that can be probed and analyzed in the light of recent contributions of object relations theory within the field of contemporary psychoanalysis. This theory is able to illuminate the origins of certain relational patterns and to contribute to a fuller understanding of the dynamics of both moral and faith development.

OBJECT RELATIONS THEORY, THE IMAGINAL WORLD AND FAITH

Object relations theory is an outgrowth of Freudian thought which gives central place to early relationships with primary figures (parents, close relatives, others who live in the same house, etc.) in the constitution of one’s personality and the establishment of one’s relationship to the world.3 Whereas Freud had given primary attention to drives, object relations theorists have focused more on the relationships which people have with others. The "object" with which this theory is concerned may be parts of persons (e.g., a mother’s eyes or hands), but are ultimately and ideally whole persons with whom a relationship is established. Object relations theorists note how mental representations of others are gradually built up in the mind by a process of internalization. Memories of interactions with others in the past and present consolidate in the mind so as to form these mental representations which are not carbon copies, but subjective, and sometimes quite distorted, renderings of others. Out of the affective experiences with people in the external world, each person fashions an internal world, a "theater" of the mind, where "actors" (mental representations) from the past are used in varying degrees by a person in relating to self and others in the present. One’s own deep sense of value and of being loved or of being of no account and unloved is dependent on the internalization of representations of a loving or rejecting other with whom one relates. Throughout the course of life, self and object representations are in dynamic interaction and can be reworked on the basis of ongoing experience and reinterpretations of past experience. According to this theory, Ruby Turpin is guided unconsciously in her current relationships by her own internal, imaginal world which provides her with a working model for assessing what is of value and what is to be avoided.

Also present in Ruby’s imaginal world is the God whom she interrogates so fiercely: "How am I a hog and me both? How am I saved and from hell too?"4 Ruby’s faith has been a source of comfort and strength but is now in crisis. This faith which provided her with a center, a bedrock for finding meaning and value in her life is put to the test. The human foundations of this faith are imaginal representations of important figures who become the first focus of a child’s trust. Together these representations provide an individual with a background of safety which allows one to venture forth in the journey of life. In this elemental faith the question of "is there anybody out there for me that I can trust as I become a self" is answered by the powerful images of the primary objects (parents, caretakers) of childhood. This elemental faith based on experience with trustworthy figures is the forerunner to a faith tested by life’s crises and grounded in new and reworked imaginal centers.5

Faith seeks a transcendent object which will be a fitting recipient for trust even in the face of the most threatening of life’s events. Faith also searches for a perspective on life, a view of life, which can hold together seemingly irreconcilable opposites — "How am I a hog and me both?" From the standpoint of object relations theory, there is both a movement here to an ever more adequate image of God, a mental representation which invites a more radical trust, and a movement to a more comprehensive religious "illusion," a religious vision of life which gives meaning to even the absurdities of human existence. Ruby doesn’t know how to understand the God who allowed that girl to give her such an awful message. She doesn’t understand her world being turned upside down. She wasn’t trash, but the message came to her. Again, object relations theory throws light on both the origins and evolution of illusion and the mental representation of God.

ILLUSIONS AND IMAGES OF GOD

Illusion was, of course, the term Freud used to refer to religious belief. It was meant as a pejorative term, a way of reducing such belief to its roots in childhood wishes. The object relations theorist D.W. Winnicott (1896-1971) argues persuasively for the value of illusion, which he related to an intermediate area of experience between reality and fantasy.6 He noted how a mother’s (or primary caregiver’s) almost total adaptation to her young infant’s needs gives rise to the primary illusion of omnipotence. The infant’s slightest need is satisfied by its hyper-attentive mother; its inner need "creates" a satisfying object. The baby is at a stage where the inner world of fantasy has not yet been sorted out from the outer reality. This primary illusion provides a foundation for a love of reality and for hope. Gradually, the infant is disillusioned and introduced to the difference between me and not-me, inner world and outer world.

Transitional Objects and Phenomena

Winnicott observed that the infant in its situation of primary creativity takes an important step along the way to an acceptance of the distinction between the outer world and the inner world of fantasy. It finds adaptive ways of employing illusion to reflect his or her evolving creativity. Specifically, older infants will form a close attachment to some special object, such as a blanket, stuffed animal, or toy. The object, which Winnicott designates a transitional object, functions for the child as soother and comforter. It makes easier the child’s adjustment to his or her growing awareness of separateness from mother and of distinction between the subjective inner world of fantasy and the outer reality. The transitional object is the child’s first "not-me possession," a beginning attempt to establish a relationship to a world beyond the mother. This special object is a result of the creative activity of the infant who is able to fuse material from the inner world — remembered experience of good mothering — with some object such as a teddy bear from the outer world which can then serve as a mother-substitute and whose meaning to the child is typically shared by the rest of the family. Family members regard the object as special, even sacred, and handle it with reverence. The object is of immense significance for a person’s later immersion in cultural life, for it represents the development of a new way of experiencing. Transitional experiencing signals the emergence of an incipient symbolizing activity. Such experiencing ensures a sense of wholeness and will provide a lifelong resting place from the pressure of the inner world and the demands of the outer world.

Winnicott saw the broader ramifications of his formulation and stated that he was staking a claim for a way of experiencing present in culture, religion, art, and creative living. The first transitional object helps the infant to adapt to a growing awareness of outer reality; adult transitional phenomena will facilitate continuing adaptation. Winnicott makes the explicit assumption that accepting reality remains an ongoing task and that transitional phenomena provide relief from the effort involved in relating external to internal reality. In other words, transitional objects and phenomena associated with them are the earliest means through which the individual acquires those healthy illusions which are shared with others and give meaning to life. Illusion, like the transitional object, can serve as a vision of the "more" of reality which provides needed solace and has a place in the lifelong development of persons. This creative approach to life sees reality and oneself as charged with surplus and shared meaning.

Ruby Turpin’s vision of life provides her with solace as she sits comfortably in the doctor’s office, yet at the end of the story she receives a new vision of life. The importance of some vision for healthy living is increasingly recognized by researchers and practitioners in various disciplines. In commenting on a psychoanalytic vision of reality, Roy Schafer notes:

The term vision implies judgments partly rooted in subjectivity, that is, in acts of imagination and articles of faith, which, however illuminating and complex they may be, necessarily involve looking at reality from certain angles and not others.7

Visions can have different features such as comic, romantic, tragic and ironic. When people approach the world with their imaginations, one of these may be given special emphasis. Ruby’s last vision of life focuses on the ironic. It puts together the seemingly irreconcilable. Likewise, the God who seems to be behind her fate and this vision is ironic and quite in contrast to the God to whom Ruby utters her early prayer of thanksgiving.

Mental Representations of God

Ruby’s God, or more precisely her mental representation of God, has its origin in important relationships in her life. What begins as a human faith trusting in human supports is pushed by life’s challenges to become a faith in the transcendent. Only the transcendent has the potential to respond to the deepest human concerns. Granted the interpersonal matrix in which individuals grow and develop, the human desire for a transcendent object on which to ground faith crystalizes in the longing for a personal Other. In Ruby’s life, as for countless others, this personal Other is called God. This God has sanctioned Ruby’s behavior in the past and yet now seems to call her way of living and thinking into question. To understand who exactly God is for an individual like Ruby, one must look not only at the cultural and religious tradition in which that person stands but also (and perhaps more crucially) at the interpersonal matrix which surrounds and has surrounded that individual.

The God believers meet in prayer which, psychologically speaking, is actually a psychic representation, a special transitional object, which they have fashioned on the basis of their experience with significant others and what their community and family have told them about God. According to Ana-Maria Rizzuto who has used Winnicott’s notion of transitional phenomena in describing the formation of a psychic representation of God, when the notion of God is first introduced to a child, usually in response to his or her questions about the cause of things, the child images this superior being as similar to his or her parents, only of greater power and size. The child forms this notion of God based on his or her previous interpersonal experience with parents and other significant figures. Much like an artist who works with some material as a medium, the child fashions a God-representation using the memories as a medium. The God-image is a new and original creation of the child’s based on his or her experience in the interpersonal environment of the home.

The first God-image can be reshaped at each stage of life. Rizzuto observed that mature believers typically renew their God representation to make it compatible with their emotional situation and self-development. For some, however, the image of God does not get revised and so becomes unrelated to their current sense of self. That image can mirror and intensify characteristics of parents or other important figures which are counter to one’s growing sense of belief about the nature of God’s relationship to people.

In reshaping the God representation, the believer seeks to capture the transcendent more adequately in the finite and inevitably flawed medium of memories. Art, liturgy, theology, and ongoing experience can serve as guides for some, provided there is a foundation of dynamic memories of loving relationships on which to build. In the faith encounter with the sacred which is prayer, images are often purified, transformed, and transcended, though gradually and at times painfully. The reworking of the God representation can be a gradual process unfolding somewhat naturally in the course of spiritual development or a sudden and more dramatic breakthrough to a new way of imaging God occasioned by some powerful experience. Ruby Turpin’s new vision is triggered by the disruptive remark of the girl. That remark brings Ruby to a transforming moment.

TRANSFORMING MOMENTS: A THEOLOGICAL

PERSPECTIVE

The dynamics of transforming moments such as Ruby Turpin’s have been studied by the theologian James Loder.9 The conviction which comes in such moments, Loder argues, provides new knowledge about the world, the self, and God. The new sense of reality which arises in these convictional experiences includes an awareness of the void which threatens humanity, ultimately personal or collective death. It moves beyond the void to recognize that which negates the threat — the holy. Whereas ordinary knowing is two-dimensional, focusing on the self and the world, the knowledge which emerges from transforming moments is four-dimensional, incorporating the void and the holy as well. Transforming knowing comes as the result of a five part process.

Transformational knowing begins in an experience of conflict when previous ways of knowing begin to break down. A similar phenomenon confronts a person trying to solve a puzzle. The puzzle for Ruby Turpin is how to understand the remark that has been hurled at her so undeservedly. When attempts at solving the puzzle based on one’s usual interpretative schemes fail, the second step finds people scanning the field of possibilities for a new perspective while they continue to be challenged by the conflict. This scanning, which relies heavily on the imagination, is both a conscious and an unconscious process. Thirdly, an intuition or insight which gives a clue to the resolution of the conflict appears on the boundary between the unconscious and the conscious as a result of the constructive act of the imagination. At this point, a new way of seeing the situation is offered. With the appearance of the insight, the knower experiences a surge of energy — energy formerly absorbed by the conflict. Release from the conflict in this fourth step gives rise to self-transcendence. The new insight makes possible finally a reinterpretation of the problem situation. A new vision is applied to the former conflict and to a corresponding world view. As O’Connor ends her story,

At length . . . [Ruby] made her slow way on the darkening path to the house. In the woods around her the invisible cricket choruses had struck up, but what she heard were the voices of the souls climbing upward into the starry field and shouting hallelujah.10

Loder shows that the pattern of transformational knowing is operative in areas as diverse as education, therapy, and scientific discovery. In every case an imaginative leap brings about a resolution of a conflict situation. On the personal level, the puzzle or conflict which faces people can present itself in the form of a divided self, a self torn between its desires and its limits. The void can be experienced as absence, loneliness, shame, guilt, hatred, the demonic, or death. It comes into clear view when a person’s world begins to break apart in the experience of some conflict and life’s order is shattered. In Loder’s analysis there is something more than the threat of the void. In a convictional experience the face of the void is negated and transformed into the face of God. At these times a person is brought face to face with the graciousness of Being itself. By finding his or her self grounded in its very source, the person realizes that his or her true nature is to be a self that gives love.

Convictional knowing is experienced as a gift from the all-gracious God. The conversion or change it accomplishes brings a radical recentering of the person on God. Loder indicates that in the course of any human development the transformational process can be seen at work. The stages of development bring people time and time again to a breakdown of a secure world of their own and society’s making. While Loder illuminates in a special way the sudden, discontinuous, or unexpected element in such development, others have mapped out the more regular progression in revising and revisioning one’s outlook or frame of reference which occurs across the life span.

FAITH’S IMAGINING AND DEVELOPMENTAL STAGES

O’Connor does provide the reader with some data about Ruby Turpin which helps position her developmentally in terms of life stages. At one point, after O’Connor has Ruby notice a girl of eighteen or nineteen reading a book, entitled Human Development, she tells us that Ruby is forty-seven and so in the midlife period.11 James Fowler, in his theory of faith development, attempts to highlight what faith’s imagining might be like at the midlife period, as well as at the other life stages.12 For Fowler, faith is a process of knowing and valuing, a dynamic activity which creates and sustains an organizing frame of meaning for life. Faith provides a "dependable life space" in which persons find meaning and order for human existence. It does this through imaging an "ultimate environment," an outer boundary to all that goes on in life. As Fowler observes, "Faith, as imagination, grasps the ultimate conditions of our existence, unifying them into a comprehensive image in light of which we shape our responses and initiatives, our actions."13

Following the work of Jean Piaget, Erik Erikson, and Lawrence Kohlberg in cognitive, psychosocial, and moral development respectively, Fowler proposes a stage theory of faith development. In his system there is a pre-stage of undifferentiated faith at the beginnings of life. He relates this faith to the issue of trust versus mistrust which Erikson has designated as the first psychosocial crisis a person faces.14 Stage I emerges by the age of two; this is an intuitive-projective faith characterized by powerful images around which the world of experience is unified. With continued psychosocial maturation and cognitive development, a mythic-literal faith, stage II, makes its appearance around the age of seven when narrative becomes important for giving coherence to experience. Stage III, a synthetic-conventional faith, is an attempt to understand the ultimate environment in interpersonal terms. This stage has its ascendancy in adolescence when a person is concerned with establishing identity. As a move toward a coherent worldview in terms of which one learns to understand the self and others, it is a conformist stage. Though characteristic of the adolescent, this stage of faith development may be the last reached by some adults.

With the advent of young adulthood, an individual, reflective faith, stage IV, comes into prominence. This faith has the characteristics of critical reflection on identity and worldview in which young adults typically engage. Less dependent on authority, these people now make their own judgments and formulate a coherent worldview which makes sense to them. Symbols are translated into conceptual meanings, and a multi-layered reality is often simplified for the sake of comprehensibility.

At midlife, unconscious forces begin to intrude into carefully ordered existences, and this sets the stage for a transition to stage V, conjunctive faith. Much of what was overlooked in stage IV now begins to be incorporated. Symbols are appreciated for the depths of meaning they point to as well as for their conceptual meaning. Fowler speaks of:

the rise of the ironic imagination — a capacity to see and be in one’s or one’s groups most powerful meanings, while simultaneously recognizing that they are relative, partial and inevitably distorting apprehensions of transcendent reality.15

Conjunctive faith implies a new acquisition of personal identity which is more open to the unconscious depths of the person. It involves coming to terms with personal history, reclaiming overlooked parts of that history, and reworking the understanding of the whole. With it comes a willingness to meet reality on its own terms and a more ardent pursuit of a multifaceted truth. Paradox and apparent contradictions are not only tolerated but are now seen as necessary dimensions of a true vision of reality. The faith vision which Ruby Turpin gains at the end of the story suggests a conjunctive faith appropriate to midlife development.

Universalizing faith is the designation Fowler gives to stage VI. He feels that few achieve this level of faith development. In this faith the imaging of the ultimate environment is the most inclusive of all being. People possessing such faith are radically committed to justice and love and work for the transformation of the world.

In a summary statement about the theory, Fowler has indicated:

The theory precisely is about a study of the process in which persons gradually disembed themselves from dominantly unconscious structuring of self-other, selfworld relations, and through a series of stages develop the possibilities of more conscious and critical structuring of their worlds and meanings.16

Fowler’s theory is not without its problems among which is its failure to acknowledge adequately the role of unconscious elements such as the internalized world of object relations in any of the faith positions.17 While he seeks to give appropriate place to both affectivity and cognition in faith, he nevertheless understates the importance of the affective and relational dimension in faith’s evolution. Although the point is debated, Fowler argues that faith development provides the anchor and backdrop for moral development. Fuller appreciation of faith’s imagining as guiding and sustaining moral development and activity would require more careful explication of faith’s relational elements than Fowler has given. Certainly, Ruby Turpin’s new faith vision implies a new way of construing relationships between herself and others which would impact how she lives morally.

MORAL DEVELOPMENT AND MORAL

DECISION-MAKING

Contemporary research in both religious ethics and moral development provides evidence of a growing appreciation of the role of imagination, relationships and affectivity in moral growth and moral decision-making. Many questions remain as to how the cognitive and the affective and relational domains combine and interact in the evolution of the moral subject. There is an increasing consensus that in the relational and affective spheres moral development is furthered significantly by such factors as the process of internalization, the capacity for empathy and concern, and transitional experiencing. In the process of internalization the imaginal representations of significant figures in childhood are stored in the internal world of the mind thus making possible an internal regulation of behavior. The subject is now provided with readily available working models of relationships and behaviors. As Paul W. Pruyser has observed:

Mental images of the parents, therefore, no matter how fragmentary and far from holistic they may be in early childhood, serve as behavioral organizers which not only represent the child’s archive of person-related experiences but function adaptively in his anticipations, guiding his coping efforts and turning these into habits or traits.18

Freud spoke of internalization in his account of the formation of the superego as a regulator of behavior at the time of the resolution of the Oedipal complex.19 Today the focus is on seeing the internalization as beginning much earlier in the preoedipal period. Ruby Turpin’s way of reacting to people such as the white trash would have roots in her experience of the way her parents dealt with various groups. She would have internalized not only aspects of them, but also aspects of the culture of which they were a part.

Empathy, the ability to feel with another, and the capacity for concern have their roots in infancy and the close bond between mother and infant. Empathy provides the emotional foundation for the later cognitive capacity for taking a social perspective, for looking at situations from the other person’s vantage point. Lack of empathy is a characteristic of a narcissistic personality and accounts for the difficulty such people have in interpersonal relationships.20 The capacity for concern emerges in the context of the young child’s effort to relate to the mother as a person who both satisfies and frustrates him or her. The child gradually senses that the "good mother" who provides food and the "bad mother" who frustrates the child’s desire for immediate satisfaction are one and the same person. According to Winnicott, it senses, too, that the very one on whom its well-being depends is the same one whom it has wished to destroy. But now the child begins to feel concern for the mother and goes through a period of anxiety related to the feeling of almost having lost or destroyed the mother on whom it depends. An experience of guilt over such possible damage signals the ability to tolerate the ambivalence of conflicted feelings of love and hate directed to the same object. This anxiety is dealt with through reparation and various restitutive gestures.21 The capacity for concern as well as the desire to make reparation are vitally important for moral development. Again people with certain personality disorders such as the narcissistic seem unable to experience such concern. There is, indeed, a narcissistic flavor to Ruby’s indifference and lack of concern for certain groups.

In a similar way, the antisocial personality lacks, according to some commentators, the ability for transitional relatedness and experiencing. Transitional experiencing here involves ultimately holding before oneself an illusion, a vision of life which gives meaning and direction and provides solace.22 Concern with fostering moral development has led some researchers to study the way in which visions of how to live morally are passed on. This in turn has led to consideration of how stories impact on the moral imagination, shape character and impart a vision.

STORIES, CHARACTER AND MORAL DEVELOPMENT

Bruno Bettelheim has explored the role of fairy tales in providing children with moral guidance and enabling them to work through emotional experiences. Bettelheim writes:

[The child] needs — and this hardly requires emphasis at this moment in our history — a moral education which subtly, and by implication only, conveys to him the advantages of moral behavior, not through abstract ethical concepts but through that which seems tangibly right and therefore meaningful to him. The child find this kind of meaning through fairy tales.23

Stanley Hauerwas and Craig Dykstra have studied the role of stories in the Christian community for guiding ethical behavior. Stories, of course, have an implied worldview and coherence; they form character. By character Hauerwas and Dykstra mean the coherence of one’s moral life which comes about through looking at life in a particular way. A person of good character is one who in the light of a community’s stories has made of his or her life a story which adequately ties together past, present and future and fits with what the world is really like. Stories which impact on character are stories which embody fundamental convictions, beliefs which direct the way individuals should act and see. Communities are made up of people who share stories, convictions and visions.24

The use of stories in a community process of moral education and formation is longstanding, but has received additional support in recent years. At the turn of the century Edwin Diller Starbuck (1866-1941), a pioneer in the psychology of religion, developed a program of moral education which was centered around great literature. He believed that moral education was best pursued indirectly by introducing children to carefully selected literature. The Institute for Research in Character which he established attempted to prepare a bibliography of children’s literature for each grade in the public schools.25 An illustration of contemporary interest in the use of stories in forms of moral education is a recent book of Robert Coles entitled The Call of Stories: Teaching and the Moral Imagination.26 In that work, Coles discusses Flannery O’Connor as one writer who addresses matters of the soul in her narratives. His whole presentation is a testimony to the power of stories for imparting moral understanding.

The role of stories in moral decision-making has been addressed in recent studies of the process of discernment. The attention given to a topic such as discernment in ethics and moral theology is an instance of a movement beyond logic and deductive methodologies in understanding the complexities of the moral life.27 Discernment has been traditionally understood as an assessment of inspirations, intuitions, affective states, and impulses in terms of their sources and their congruity with the overall direction of a person’s life. To study moral discernment is in part to study the role of imagination and creativity in the exercise of moral responsibility. For criteria in evaluating appropriate moral choices discernment from a Christian perspective makes use of the central stories of the Christian tradition and basic affections or virtues of the Christian life such as radical dependence on God and repentance. The symbols and stories of the Scriptures make their impact on the moral imagination and give rise to a moral vision. With the aid of the scriptural stories as paradigms, the person sees more clearly the action of God in personal history and the events of the times. The Biblical narratives and symbols provide normative guidance so that an appropriate moral response to God’s activity may be taken.

The story of Ruby Turpin likewise offers a moral vision to readers. Even if one does not share the religious outlook of Flannery O’Connor, the story gives a powerful lesson about how people imagine, how their imagining bears on the way they live, and how that imagining suddenly can be changed. While not classic in the same way a Biblical story is taken as a classic, the story does convey the truth of what life ultimately is about. Against the backdrop of this story people can discern their own prejudices and narrowness and discern as well a new vision of humanity and a new level of moral life.

A visionary light settled in her eyes. She saw the streak as a vast swinging bridge extending upward from the earth through a field of living fire. Upon it a vast horde of souls were rumbling toward heaven. There were whole companies of white-trash, clean for the first time in their lives.28

NOTES

1. The Complete Short Stories (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1971), pp. 488-509.

2. Ibid. p. 500.

3. For an introduction to object relations theory, see Harry Guntrip, Psychoanalytic Theory, Therapy, and the Self: A Basic Guide to the Human Personality in Freud, Erikson, Klein, Sullivan, Fairbairn, Hartmann, Jacobson and Winnicott (New York: Basic Books, 1973); Jay R. Greenberg and Stephen A. Mitchell, Object Relations in Psychoanalytic Theory (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1983); and Rubin and Gertrude Blanck, Beyond Ego Psychology: Developmental Object Relations Theory (New York: Columbia University press, 1986).

4. O’Connor, p. 506.

5. John McDargh, Psychoanalytic Object Relations Theory and the Study of Religion: On Faith and the Imaging of God (Lanham, MD; University Press of America, 1983), pp. 105-107.

6. D. W. Winnicott, Playing and Reality (London: Tavistock, 1971).

7. A New Language for Psychoanalysis (New Haven: Yale University press, 1976), p. 23.

8. The Birth of the Living God: A Psychoanalytic Study (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1979).

9. The Transforming Moment: Understanding Convictional Experiences (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1981).

10. O’Connor, p. 509.

11. Ibid., p. 490.

12. The Stages of Faith: The Psychology of Human Development and the Quest for Meaning (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1981).

13. Ibid. p. 25.

14. In more recent writings, Fowler has designated this prestage as stage one. See his Becoming Adult, Becoming Christian: Adult Development and Christian Faith (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1984), p. 52.

15. The Stages of Faith, p. 198.

16. "Dialogue Toward a Future" in Faith Development and Fowler, ed. by Craig Dykstra and Sharon Parks (Birmingham, AL: Religious Education Press, 1986), p. 279.

17. See McDargh, pp. 43-44.

18. The Play of the Imagination: Toward a Psychoanalysis of Culture (New York: International Universities Press, 1983), p. 45.

19. "The Ego and the Id" in Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, ed. by James Strachey (London: Hogarth Press, 1961), Vol. 19, pp. 3-66.

20. See Gertrude and Rubin Blanck, Beyond Ego Psychology: Developmental Object Relations Theory (New York: Columbia University Press, 1986), p. 14; and Heinz Kohut, "Introspection, Empathy, and Psychoanalysis: An Examination of the Relationship Between Mode of Observation and Theory," Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 7 (1959),



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