ment took charge in 1975, it was ablento complete the “inevitable” democratizationnpeacefully. Moreover, undernthe capable leadership of King JuannCarlos, the government showed a farnmore human face than it would havenhad a totalitarian form of democracyntriumphed in the civil war. For a mannwho was born in the wrong centurynand who died with the mummified armnof Saint Teresa of Avila at his side, thisnwas no small achievement.nThe Two Faces ofnFreudnby Kirk KilpatricknSigmund Freud’s Christian Unconsciousnby Paul C. Vitz, NewnYork: Guilford Press.nWhen Sigmund Freud took his childrennhunting for mushrooms he always insistednthat they follow a certain ritual.nPart of the ritual consisted of placingnfresh flowers every day at the shrine ofnthe Virgin near the wood.nAlthough he publicly attackednreligion as an illusion, Freud seems tonhave had a private preoccupation withnit, particularly with Catholicism. Whennin Rome and Paris he haunted St.nPeter’s and Notre Dame. In his correspondencenhe refers frequently to Easternand Pentecost but never to Jewishnholidays. His favorite books—Faust,nThe Temptation of St. Anthony, NotrenDame de Paris, Paradise Lost, ThenInferno — are centrally concerned withnHell, the Devil, possession by thenDevil, or pacts with the Devil. Indeed,nFreud seems to make more referencesnto Heaven, Hell, the Devil, and damnationnin his correspondence thannmany contemporary priests do in anlifetime of sermons. Were he aliventoday we can imagine him accusingnsuch modern clerics of emptyingnChristianity of its content—a chargenhe leveled against his friend the ReverendnOskar Pfister, a liberal Protestantnpastor.nIn Sigmund Freud’s Christian Unconscious,nPaul Vitz develops the originalnyet well-documented thesis thatn”Freud had a strong life-long positivenidentification with and attraction tonChristianity.” At the same time Freudnharbored an unconscious hostility tonChristianity and seems at times to havenassociated himself with the Devil andnthe Antichrist.nIn the course of establishing hisnthesis. Professor Vitz treats the readernto some fascinating biographical material.nOne item that stands out is ancocaine purchase Freud conductednwith Emanuel Merck, the greatgrandsonnof the man who foundednMerck Pharmaceutical and uponnwhom Coethe modeled the characternof Mephistopheles. Freud, who wasnwell aware of the symbolic overtones ofnthis exchange, seemed to believe thatncocaine would provide a shortcut tonknowledge, power, and success. Henfirst took the drug on Walpurgisnachtn— the night Faust sealed his pact withnthe Devil.nAccording to Vitz, Freud’s ambivalencenabout Christianity stemmednfrom his early relationship with annanny, a devout Catholic, who carednfor him until the age of three andnapparently introduced young Freud tonCatholic practices and rituals. In manynEuropean families at that time thenbond between child and nanny wasnquite intimate, and was not unlike thenrelationship between the white childnand black mammy that typified certainnSouthern households. In any event,nFreud’s relationship with his nannynseems to have had a profound lifelongnimpact on him. Not so curiously, perhaps,nhe hired a devout Catholic nannynfor his own children.nVitz devotes considerable attentionnto Freud’s early years, as well as tondreams, slips of the tongue, and literarynanalysis. It is no mistake that the approachnseems rather Freudian. That isnthe author’s intent. One result is thatnwhatever criticisms one is tempted tonmake against Vitz are the same criticismsnone would want to level againstnthe Freudian method itself But by thensame token, anyone who takes Freudnseriously will have to take Vitz seriously.nWhat he demonstrates so ably isnthat the Freudian system is a two-edgednsword which can be used to cut bothnways — in this case, against atheism asnwell as against beliefnIn the Future of an Illusion, Freudnargued that religious beliefs are illusionsn”born from man’s need to makenhis helplessness tolerable and built upnfrom the material of memories of thenhelplessness of his own childhood andnnnthe childhood of the human race.”nFreud was concerned not with thenbeliefs themselves but with the motivesnfor belief, and concluded that religionnwas untrustworthy because based onnchildhood needs and wishes, often of anneurotic nature.nBut in that case Freud’s attachmentnto his Catholic nanny, coupled withnher abrupt departure, goes far towardnexplaining his lifelong ambivalencenabout Christianity and his public rejectionnof religion. Likewise, Freud’s rejectionnof his father, a weak and passivenman who seemed unable to control thensuper-charged Oedipal atmosphere ofnthe household, provides the psychologicalnmotive for his rejection of God.nFreud’s atheism, as well as atheism inngeneral, can be interpreted as unconsciousnOedipal wish fulfillment. And innfact, as Vitz has pointed out elsewhere,nthe biographies of many prominentnatheists reveal a pattern of shame,ndisappointment, or rage directed atntheir fathers.nFreud himself connected the primevalnmurder of the father by the sonsnwith the Christian doctrine of originalnsin, and in one startling passage innTotem and Taboo seems to acknowledge—nat least on the mythicalnand symbolic level — that no betternresolution had been found for thenOedipal crime than Christ’s radicalnobedience to His Father’s will. Nevertheless,nin his public persona, Freudnseems to have been more often on thenside of the fallen angels. “Do you notnknow that I am the Devil?” he oncenasked, then added, “All my life I havenhad to play the Devil, in order thatnothers would be able to build the mostnbeautiful cathedral with the materialsnthat I produced.”nIn Sigmund Freud’s Christian Unconscious,nVitz uses those materials tonneutralize the thesis presented bynFreud in The Future of an Illusion.nJudged by his own criteria, Freud turnsnout to be an unreliable witness on thensubject of religious belief For a longntime now. The Future of an Illusionnhas been one of the most frequentlynrequired readings in college psychologyncourses. Through it, generations ofnstudents have learned to view religiousnbelief as the result of immature projectionsnand wish fulfillments. Fair playnwould suggest that in the future theynget an equal opportunity to examinenOCTOBER 1988135n