Depth Psychology and the Origins of Interpersonal Hatred

In today’s society, we observe the never-ending competition, not only between states or political parties, but also between individuals and their ideas about the world and themselves. The inevitable clash of views that often contradict each other leads to a defensive-offensive reaction and even amounts to a “democracy fatigue,” because it is the democratic system that allows ideas to circulate and collide freely.

The project aims to demonstrate that we can use philosophy, depth psychology, and religious studies to examine the level at which the clash of personal meanings occurs and why the psychological result of this clash is inter-personal hatred. Such philosophically and psychologically defined hatred is marked by a specific emotional charge, which corresponds to religious feelings in its urgency. For this reason, hatred in the project is conceived as something “deep” compared to other phenomena treated by behavioural and social sciences.

From a philosophical point of view, we can analyse the notion of “meaning” and the ideas behind it. From a psychological point of view, we can describe the emotional dynamics involved in the meaning making process. From a joint perspective of psychology and religious studies, we can clarify the seriousness with which individuals take the creation and defence of their meaningful universe and the mitigation of its possible threats.

The main outcome of the project will be the first complex study of interpersonal hatred from a combined perspective of philosophy, depth psychology, and religious studies. Such an interdisciplinary approach reflects the complexity of the issues and will provide a fresh perspective and possible new avenues for the therapy of interpersonal hatred.