In the Names of the Father: God in Lacan, judaic of christian?
This essay challenges the widespread notion that Lacanian psychoanalysis represents a ‘Christianising’ of psychoanalysis. It argues that Lacanian psychoanalysis brings to psychoanalysis a broadly “Averroist” attitude towards religion which develops out of and transcends Freud’s position in Totem and Taboo. For Lacan, religious texts are an invaluable source of pre-psychoanalytic insight or another regal road into the champ Freudien: the dynamic of human beings’ desire, in its co-conformity with language and Law. The text focuses on trying to decipher the missing content of the Names of the Father seminar: the seminar that “does not exist” (Miller, 2006) beyond its opening, esoteric and dramatic session. The force of doing this will be to show how much, and how fundamental, the things are that Lacan thinks the bible, and the first Abrahamic monotheism in particular, can teach us about human subjectivity and the instance of the Law that shapes it – insights which go to explain Freud’s unmistakable attachment, despite himself, to the civilizational importance of his fathers.