Part 10. Christianity as a Symbolic Resolution of the Oedipal Conflict

If we follow this model, then the Christian story would hold the following psychological meaning to the average Christian.

There are three players in the story, the Christian as the younger sibling, God the Loving-Parent and Jesus Christ as the older sibling who is the rival of the younger sibling for the Loving-Parent's attention.

From the younger sibling's perspective, the ideal resolution of the conflict is to have the parent reject the older sibling and turn their attention to them and this is exactly what happens.

The parent cold-bloodedly sends the older sibling to his death. The sinlessness of the older sibling only enhances the degree of the rejection - it is not a punishment for being a bad child. The older sibling's desperate pleas fall on deaf ears during "the agony in the garden" inspite of there intensity.

Now that the older sibling has been done away with, the parent turns their full attention to the younger sibling granting peace and love forgiving any past transgressions and living happily ever after.

The younger sibling seeks to be celibate to remain true to the parent. Any rejection of the parent after this point would be unforgivable since nothing greater can be done.

The younger sibling even eats the older sibling's flesh and drinks his blood in willing approval of and joy over the benefits of the murder ("do this in memory of me" indeed! Lk 22:19).

Remorse over the death of the older sibling is removed by his resurrection. This allows the younger sibling the best of both cases.

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(c) 1999 Thomas F. Swezey All rights reserved.