n Ekklesiastikos Pharos - Sigmund Freud's theory of religion and the sacrament of the Eucharist in the Orthodox church : research article

Volume 95, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1018-9556



Often theologians tend to neglect the importance theories of religion have in the overall study of religious discourse. Theories of religion seek to explain the origin and function of religion - while other, more hostile approaches to religious phenomena, tend solely to explain them away. In this process, theorists of religion deal with either one particular religion or many religions in order to justify and establish their theory as a general one that can be applied to every religion across both time and space. This paper seeks to examine Sigmund Freud's theory of religion as it was formulated in his famous book Totem and Taboo, in which he argued that religion is the result of a primeval action now anchored in the human consciousness. Since Freud, just like all theorists, claims that his theory of religion is a general one, I take as case study the Orthodox Christian Sacrament of the Eucharist in order to show that his theory cannot be applied to that central and defining element of the Orthodox Christian Church and, thus, raises certain concerns regarding the validity of Freud's theory of religion .

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