R.D. Laing's theological hinterland: the contrast between mysticism and communion

Miller, G. (2012) R.D. Laing's theological hinterland: the contrast between mysticism and communion. History of Psychiatry, 23(2), pp. 139-155. (doi:10.1177/0957154X11401181)

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Abstract

Contrasting elements in R.D. Laing’s psychiatry can be traced to two kinds of Christian theology: mystical theology and corporate theology. On one hand, Laing’s mystical theology combined with psychoanalytic theory, to provide a New Age psychotherapeutic account of the recovery of authentic selfhood via metanoia. On the other, his incarnational, corporate theology promoted social inclusion of the mentally ill, particularly via therapeutic communities. For Laing, as for other post-war British Christians, a turn inwards, to mysticism and the sacralization of the self, and a turn outwards, to social and political activism, were ways of negotiating with the decline of traditional Christianity.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Miller, Dr Gavin
Authors: Miller, G.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > English Literature
Journal Name:History of Psychiatry
ISSN:0957-154X
ISSN (Online):1740-2360

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