Graduate School of Psychoanalysis and Psychoanalytic training
New York
Continuing Education
News & Events
Therapy Center

Courses Open to Public

Blood Rites: Explorations in Religion and Violence

PC 602

Conficlt between Muslims and Jews in the Middle East, Catholics and Protestants in Ireland, religious nationalism in Africa, or fundamentalism in South Asia. The language of Jihad from one corner, the language of crusade from another, the din of explosions in nightclubs, marketplaces, and abortion clinics: Every day, the news media offers a new report illustrating the vital link between religion and violence. The confusion occasioned by religious violence is due in part to the common perception - comforting but misleading - of religion as a force for social peace and harmony. In fact, violence may be found at the very center of spiritual life. It has externalized forms - the wrath directed at the heterodox or infidel other. But equally plentiful are acts believers perpetrate upon themselves with love and devotion. Drawing together theoretical perspectives from a range of disciplines, this class explores such sacred phenomena as sacrifice, martyrdom, punishment, ritual performance, xenophobia, fundamentalism, and genocide.

Begins February 7, 2014. Meets every other Friday from 1-3 PM for 12 classes.

For Continuing Education Credit (24 CE's): $450; For academic credit (3 credits): $1875 *There is a $50 registration fee due at the time of registration

Brad Verter, Ph.D., recently joined the faculty at BGSP. He has an extensive background in culture and history, studying as an undergrad at Columbia University and receiving his M.A. and Ph.D. from Princeton.

This course is designed to help you:
1. Discuss religious violence in different historical and cultural contexts.
2. Distinguise between different forms of religious violence.
3. Explain the moods and motivations underlying violent acts in religious contexts.
4. Analyze the role religion plays in political conflicts.
5. Apply analytical techniques to literary and cinematic works.
6. Assess contemporary episodes of religious violence.

To register, please contact the registrar at: or 617-277-3915