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This Incredible Need to Believe

3.58  ·  Rating Details  ·  62 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
"Unlike Freud, I do not claim that religion is just an illusion and a source of neurosis. The time has come to recognize, without being afraid of 'frightening' either the faithful or the agnostics, that the history of Christianity prepared the world for humanism."

So writes Julia Kristeva in this provocative work, which skillfully upends our entrenched ideas about religion,
Hardcover, 115 pages
Published October 1st 2009 by Columbia University Press (first published August 30th 2007)
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Mar 22, 2015 Jo rated it really liked it
I am not sure what rating to give this book. There were moments where it was amazing, and moments where I was somewhat disappointed. I am a fan of Kristeva. I read a few of her books (in English translation) when I was studying for my PhD and some of her concepts really influenced the direction I took with some of it, and I hold her in high esteem for that. So I picked up this book eagerly, shortly after it was published in English - it is to my shame that I have only just taken it off my shelf ...more
Jul 21, 2014 Andrew rated it really liked it
So, I think I have waited too long to encounter Kristeva; this is the first of her writings I've ever read, and I found it provocative, even moving.

The bulk of this (brief) book is an extensive interview with Carmine Donzelli that starts with the question, "Can one speak of the 'need to believe' from a secular point of view?," then ranges across topics including mysticism, adolescent suffering, the clash of fundamentalist faiths, missteps of secularism, feminine genius and others, within an over
Frank Terry
Sep 03, 2015 Frank Terry rated it really liked it
This is a really good thought provoking book. More or less, to sum it up to the best of my ability, Julia Kristeva is arguing that Europe and the West in general needs to re-discover it's Christian roots and re-define them, primarily through an artistic lens, to help us survive the third millennium.

I've wanted to read Kristeva forever and am really surprised by how good her work really is. Wait. Let me rephrase that. I've always basically known that Kristeva was a genius, but I didn't know if I
Al Bità
Mar 28, 2010 Al Bità rated it did not like it
This small book consists of an introductory letter, two interviews, a lecture and two newspaper articles. For the ordinary lay person it is virtually unreadable, full as it is of self-reflective, multiple-associations, qualified by numerous adjectives, and almost narcissistic cross-referencing: the sort of stuff one tends to find in postmodernist/poststructuralist writing. One feels one is digging through mounds of word-rubble in a vain effort to find some kind of solid structure within or under ...more
Oct 11, 2011 Andrew rated it really liked it
Several people asked me about this book as I was reading it and being Catholic, assumed it was about why there are reasons for religious faith. Even the description on the outer/inner jacket suggest something like that. I think Kristeva gave the best summary of where she's coming from when she speaks of "prereligious belief." She's curious to understand the psychic space that exists before we start forming these identities of religion, politics, etc.
Mar 07, 2015 Wuhan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When people ask me "What do you believe?" I want to ask "What is belief?" Nobody seems to know. This is one of the few books I've found that gets near asking that question, and it is a humdinger.
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Julia Kristeva is a French psychoanalyst, sociologist, critic and philosopher. She researches on psychoanalysis of the Lacanian tradition, and has interest in semiotics. She also founded the Simone de Beauvoir Prize.
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“That faith be analyzable does not necessarily imply a method for getting by without it. . . .” 11 likes
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