chapter  7
20 Pages

Did Augustine foreshadow psychoanalysis?


As early as 1908, the year of the fi rst international meeting of psychoanalysts at Salzberg and just eight years after the publication of Freud’s Die Traumdeutung, an English editor of Augustine’s Confessions noted that Book X amounted to a true and psychological analysis of the phenomena of the conscious and unconscious aspects of the mind (Gibb and Montgommery 1908).1

This sentiment was repeated in 1922 by the Benedictine scholar Cuthbert Butler (Butler 1951). The inclusion of a section on Augustine by Dom Butler in his Western Mysticism had been an afterthought but he was later to consider it the most valuable portion of his book.