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Homogeneity of Language and Religion: The Psychoanalytic Approach. P. 61–69

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Section: Philosophy, Sociology, Politology




Sergey I. Mozzhilin
Saratov State University;
ul. Astrakhanskaya 83, Saratov, 410012, Russian Federation; e-mail:


This article analyses the genetic relationship between language and religion. The aim of the paper is to substantiate the homogeneity of language and religion from the viewpoint of the psychoanalytic approach. The subject of the research is the symbol of the psychic subject-object that is inaccessible to sensory experience, fulfilling the functions of a person’s sign in speech and language and of a psychic censor of the person’s behaviour and forming the basis for the development of religious ideas. The paper used the methodological techniques of functional analysis of the person’s symbol and the philosophy of name. Much attention is given to the psychoanalytic approach to the phylogenetic evolution of the human psyche. This approach was proposed by Sigmund Freud and is based on the deduction of the symbolic, first of all the censor of behaviour (super-ego), which served the basis for the formation of religious beliefs, from the biological. Further, the paper postulates the necessity and the possibility of correcting this approach, as well as the arising from it concept of formation in the ontogenesis of the symbolic ego, developed by J. Lacan. The novelty of this research lies in a positive substantiation of the factor of homogeneity of religion and language in the phylogenesis of mankind, realized from the position of the author’s concept of the formation of the unconscious, symbolized censor of behaviour, which both forms a person’s symbol in a language and generates religious ideas about spirits. Transfer and substitution are postulated as the psychic mechanisms that ensured the formation of a person’s symbol. They caused the transformation of the zoological communicative signal into the symbol of a leader, absent from sensory experience. This research is of practical importance for the development of methods for analysing sacred symbols of speech and language. It also increases methodological resources for the formation of new linguistic theories.


S. Freud, psychoanalysis, psychoanalytic approach, super-ego, psychic subject-object
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