Faith as a Vital Concern in Human Development: Structuring Subjectivity and Intersubjectivity

Volume
Volume 27
Issue
Fall 1999
Title
Faith as a Vital Concern in Human Development: Structuring Subjectivity and Intersubjectivity
Abstract

This essay proposes that faith, understood as reciprocal performances and experiences of trust-distrust and loyalty and disloyalty, structures subjectivity and inter-subjectivity. Relying on Winnicott's (1971, 1989) developmental view, it is asserted that parents' diverse and changing performances of trust and loyalty provide the child with (a) the needed confidence to organize me and not-me representations into a relatively secure sense of subjective and (later) intersubjective identity and continuity, and (b) the capacities for and experiences of spontaneity, awe, and freedom. The difficulties encountered during phases of transition are due to changing perceptions and experiences of trust and loyalty in relation to significant others. Further, it is contended that religious narratives and rituals may be conceptualized as performances of faith rather than transitional objects, as Winnicott believed. When religious performances are good enough, when they contribute to reciprocal experiences of trust and fidelity, they structure a person's subjective and intersubjective sense of identity, continuity, and cohesion while, at the same time, facilitating capacities for and experiences of spontaneity, awe, and freedom; in short, faith is a vital concern.

Author
Dr. R. LaMothe
Pages
230 - 240
Price
Add to Cart $5.00