The Advent of the Adversary: Negative Power in Certain Religio-Therapeutic Systems?
New ‘religio-therapeutic systems’ commonly start with a relatively straightforward ethical injunction or healing faculty. With time, recognised failures, together with internal or external criticisms, appear, for which the action of a new countervailing power or principle, formerly opposed to the initial one, provides the explanation. The two together a new dynamic of power and counter-power. The instances considered here are Christian Science, Reichian energetics, Freudian psychoanalysis and- arguably- their source in Christianity. Some speculations on this complementary opposition are offered.
Roland Littlewood is trained as a psychiatrist and social anthropologist, who has worked extensively on transcultural psychiatry. He is author of Pathologies of the West: An Anthropology of Mental Illness in Europe and America (2002), The Butterfly and the Serpent: Essays in Psychiatry, Race and Religion (1998), and Pathology and Identity: The Work of Mother Earth in Trinidad (2006).
Organiser: Professor Sonu Shamdasani (UCL)
Time: 6pm to 7.30 pm.
Location: Arts and Humanities Common Room (G24), Foster Court, Malet Place, University College London.