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The walls within: working with defenses against otherness

Online Conference 5-11 July 2021

Religion against Itself: Psychodynamics of Some Peculiar Television Commercials Produced by the United Church of Christ*

The psychodynamics of a series of television commercials produced by the United Church of Christ, in which members of various groups are ejected from services by 'organized religion,' are explored as a way of understanding the dynamics underlying the organization. The UCC has adopted an approach to religion based on an exclusively maternal identification, rather than the traditional biparental model of the Christian church. The dynamics of the maternal church are discussed and compared with those of the biparental church. The exclusively maternal identification involves rejection of the father, who is represented as 'organized religion,' rather than taking him as a model. It also makes psychological demands on the Church elite that they cannot fulfill. Hence, unacceptable feelings are projected into 'organized religion,' the rejected father, and attacked through the vehicle of the commercials.