September 1968

The Psychic Function of Religion in Mental Illness and Health.

Author Affiliations

By the Committee on Psychiatry and Religion, Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry. Price, $1.50. Pp 96. Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry, 419 Park Ave, S New York 10016, 1968.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1968;19(3):380-381. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1968.01740090124016

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This monograph is the second report published by the GAP Committee on Psychiatry and Religion. The point of departure for the study is the clinical experience of the participating psychiatrists, and the frame of reference is psychoanalytic theory. The report is divided into four sections covering: (1) the historical background, (2) the use of religion in mental illness, (3) the influence of religion on character, and (4) religion in normal psychic functions. Although the work is not without flaws, in general it is objective as well as informative and should be valuable for anyone working in the fields of mental health or human relations. If one considers the work as an introductory survey intended for an audience with diverse backgrounds, the authors have indeed made a useful contribution.

The shortcomings of this work derive in part from the complexity of the issues and in

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