Removing the Mask of Religious Identity - a Psychological Assessment by Jalaledin Ebrahim Ph.D (C)

Removing the Mask of Religious Identity:
A Psychological Assessment.

    In this age of globalization on an ever shrinking planet, can humanity expect to survive as a species by holding on to our notions of religious identity? Will it come down to your God versus my God, your sacred scripture versus my sacred scripture, your sacred places and worship practices versus mine? Can these conflicts and tensions really be resolved by interfaith and ecumenical dialogue and collaboration resulting in a plausible appreciation, if not a celebration, of our diversity as a species or do our hopes for a common humanity require a complete deconstruction of our religio-cultural myths and a removal of our masks of religious identity, while our civil and human rights continue to be guaranteed by a more “just” secular order?
    This paper aims to explore
  1) the structure and meaning of religious identity within the context of various psychological definitions of the self.
  2) whether a religious identity is a form of cultural conditioning that can be transformed or transmuted into one which fully embraces the Other in an “I-Thou” relationship or whether a religious identity is merely a sub-personality as defined by the transpersonal psychiatrist, Dr. Roberto Assagioli, founder of Psychosynthesis.
  3) the psychological consequences of the Psychosynthesis process of “dis-identification” within the context of Fowler’s stages of faith and assess the care and caution needed by pastoral counselors and spiritual directors to mediate what can often appear as disturbing transpersonal processes which may present as a crisis of faith but which are possibly a break through to a development of a higher stage of faith.
  4) the psychological consequences of a contraction of one’s affiliation to a particular religious school or denomination, in terms of Jung’s notion of individuation and how this process itself might support or be supported by interfaith “engagement”.