Religious tradition and the new religious movements compared: a vision about the subject today

The article resumes the distinction referred to by Freud (1939/1996) in the text "Moses and Monotheism" between an inherited tradition and a tradition transmitted by communication. Uses this distinction in order to compare some traits of traditional religions with characteristics of the new religious movements. Utilizes epistemological tools developed by Lacan to observe that the monotheistic religion is related to the inherited tradition - the one that supposes the dimension of the real. This tradition and the relation that it entails were lost in the sectarian practices of today. It concludes that due to the fact that they are not related to the dimension of the real new religious practices become subject to mere behavior prescription. Their followers being subjects to a new psychic economy.

psychoanalysis; religion; new religious movements; tradition; subject


Programa de Pós-graduação em Psicologia e do Programa de Pós-graduação em Psicobiologia, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte Caixa Postal 1622, 59078-970 Natal RN Brazil, Tel.: +55 84 3342-2236(5) - Natal - RN - Brazil
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