By Michael Argyle (Eds.)
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In this way release of tension or catharsis occurs, and hope is restored (see Malinowski, 1925). For Gluckman, rituals of rebellion in southeast Africa work to sustain the social order by virtue of a psychologically efficacious cultural mechanism: rebellions facilitate catharsis, both in the sense of purging anti-social emotions and, apparently, purifying socially desirable ones (see Gluckman, 1963, esp. p. 126). And for Spiro, religion allows "the disguised expression of repressed motives" and so, among other functions, "reduces the probability of psychotic distortion of desires, thereby providing a society with psychologically healthy m e m b e r s " (1966, p.
Thus, Freud's exposure to Judaism was that of a child in a family undergoing secularization, and he was sent to a general school. Nevertheless, Freud was more "at h o m e " with Judaism than with any other tradition, and it was bound to affect his conceptions of religion in general. If you are mainly familiar with Judaism, a tradition with little asceticism or mysticism, and with little dogma or theology, your understanding of religion in general may become slanted. It is possible that Freud substituted Old Testament mythology for the missing dogma and theology in Judaism, and thus created a framework for the work of his followers.
Freud had known best the two religious traditions of Judaism and Catholicism since, curiously enough, he was not only exposed to Judaism as a child, but also to R o m a n Catholicism. According to Jones (1953), Freud's nurse " . . was a Catholic and used to take the young boy to attend the church services. She implanted in him the ideas of Heaven and Hell, and probably also those of salvation and resurrection. After returning from church the boy used to preach a sermon at home and expound G o d ' s doings" (p.