Religion Past and Present

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Unconscious, The
(1,756 words)

[German Version]

I. Religious Studies

S. Freud claimed credit for discovering the unconscious as a key concept for psychoanalysis, but much older concepts of the unconscious are found in religious and philosophical systems: (a) in the works of Plato(ἀνάμνησις/anámnēsis as the unconscious condition for conscious mental activity) and Plotinus, (b) in Indian Vedānta and Buddhism (avidyā, “ignorance,” inducing māyā), and (c) in the medieval Christian mysticism of Meis…

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Hermsen, Edmund, Rosenau, Hartmut and Fraas, Hans-Jürgen, “Unconscious, The”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 03 July 2022 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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