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Taking Lacan to Church | with Mark Gerard Murphy
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Taking Lacan to Church | with Mark Gerard Murphy

What Teresa of Avila teaches us about disruptive speech

This week Samsara Audio welcomes Mark Gerard Murphy, author of The Direction of Desire: John of the Cross, Jacques Lacan, and the Contemporary Understanding of Spiritual Direction. Mark teaches mysticism, psychoanalysis, and continental philosophy at St. Mary’s University, Twickenham, and is also actively involved in spiritual direction within the Roman Catholic Church.

Together we explored the integration of Lacanian psychoanalysis into the Christian tradition of spiritual direction, particularly exploring Mark’s critique of “experientialism” which pushes back against the heavy emphasis that contemporary spirituality places on experiences and affects, arguing instead for a renewed focus on the power of speech, both in listening and speaking.

We also discuss what the figure of Teresa of Avila can contribute to our understanding of disruptive speech and community, and why Mark contends that we must place negativity within the context of Teresa’s cosmic optimism. Finally, don’t miss Mark’s beautiful argument for the value of prayer precisely in its uselessness!

This conversation touched on a number of questions that run deeply through my own work, so I’m excited to share it with you. I love that Mark is wrestling with the vital question of how to bring the insights from psychoanalysis into pastoral theology to be mobilized within the ecclesial context for the formation of Christian disciples. This dialogue is only just the beginning!

Samsara Audio hosts conversations about religion, philosophy, and psychoanalysis. Follow us at Substack or listen on your favorite podcasting app. I also write regularly at Samsara Diagnostics (subscribe for free), and offer a free online community Samsara Study Groups. Currently we’re reading Kitaro Nishida’s An Inquiry into the Good. Don’t be shy about joining us!

Samsara Audio
Samsara Audio
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