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Reaction Formation – A neurotic response to fear

In Sigmund Freud‘s psychoanalytic theory, reaction formation is a defense mechanism in which a repressed, socially unacceptable impulse is expressed in an exaggerated, opposite way. The original impulse, perceived as bad or anxiety producing, remains unresolved in its unconscious, infantile form. This … Continue reading


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Phrenology – A case of science overextending itself

Phrenology is a word popularized by Johann Caspar Spurzheim (1776-1832) to describe a pseudo-scientific theory developed by Franz Joseph Gall (1758-1828). Gall hypothesized that different brain regions are responsible for specific functions. Today, the details are debated but this model … Continue reading


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Philia – One of many loves

Philia is a Greek term usually translated as brotherly or friendly love. The ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle says there are three types of philia: Love for what is of practical use Love for what is pleasing Love for the good Aristotle is … Continue reading


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Peter, Paul and Women – Another look at the Early Church

Among Christians, St. Peter is often compared to St. Paul. Peter is seen as the rule man. Paul, the innovator. Together, they are usually cited as the two most important early Christians after Jesus Christ, himself. Women in Early Christianity Feminists … Continue reading