Lau, “Intimating the Unconscious”

Lau, Alwyn.  2014. Intimating the Unconscious: A Psychoanalytical Refraction of Christian Theo-Political Activism in Malaysia.  Critical Research on Religion 2(3): 280-298.

Abstract: The political activism of Christians in Malaysia is in an emergent phase. Despite significant advances, especially after the milestone general elections of March 2008 (where the ruling National Alliance regime lost its two-thirds majority in parliament), many Christians hesitate to engage politically and when they do, their engagement is incoherent. Based upon a survey and critical analysis of media statements by leading Christian organizations, this article argues that Christian activism remains anemic in part due to political theologizing which suffers from incoherency, inconsistency, a diminished view of the political, and an over-reliance on the rational. The article intimates that the kind of political discourse and theologizing adopted by the church would benefit from an application of psychoanalytical categories. It concludes by suggesting that psychoanalysis cannot only provide new categories with which to re-imagine political issues in Malaysia but also reinvigorate the Christian political imagination itself.

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