Psychological and Religious Narratives in Iris Murdoch’s Fiction

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This study explores the religious narratives woven into Murdoch’s work alongside the psychological ones. It traces the influence of specific psychoanalytic texts on her work and shows that Freud and Jung, who both wrote a great deal on religion, are useful to understanding more than just Murdoch’s portrayal of the psychological side of the self.


“. . . extremely well-versed in his subject, and full of fresh ideas and insights that made for a stimulating thesis on the religious and psychological dimensions of Murdoch’s novels. There is, as far as I know, no book on Murdoch which tackles precisely this subject; and yet it is undoubtedly at the heart of her writing.” – Anna Wigley

“It has all the makings of a major contribution to the study of Murdoch’s work; and, equally importantly, it should provide a valuable secondary source for students of courses on religious literature.” – Roger Ellis

Table of Contents

Table of contents:
Preface by Bran Nicol
1. ‘Pure Speech’: psychoanalysis and religion in The Sacred and Profane Love Machine and A Word Child
2. ‘That theorist’: Jung and the mythical dramas of The Black Prince and The Good Apprentice
3. Will and belief in The Sovereignty of the Good, Henry and Cato and Nuns and Soldiers
4. Suffering and the future of religion: ‘Above the Gods’, The Philosopher’s Pupil, The Book and the Brotherhood and The Green Knight
5. The redeemer and the persecuted in Freud’s Moses and Monotheism and Murdoch’s The Message to the Planet
Conclusion; Bibliography; Index

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