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The Unconscious God

The Unconscious God (German: Der Unbewußte Gott) is a book by Viktor E. Frankl, the Viennese psychiatrist and founder of Logotherapy. The book was the subject of his dissertation for a Ph.D. in philosophy in 1948.[1]

The Unconscious God: Psychotherapy and Theology
The Unconscious God, 1949 German edition.jpg
Cover of the 1949 German edition
Author Viktor E. Frankl
Original title Der Unbewußte Gott
Language German
Subject Psychology, Logotherapy
Publisher Simon & Schuster
Publication date
Media type Print (Paperback)
Pages 161
ISBN 978-0671220990
Preceded by The Doctor and the Soul

The Unconscious God is an examination of the relation of psychology and religion.

Key ideasEdit

The term "the unconscious God" refers to a "hidden relationship with the hidden God".[2]

In his work, Frankl advocates for the use of the Socratic dialogue or "self-discovery discourse" to be used with clients to get in touch with their "Noetic" (or spiritual) unconscious.[3]

Human religiousness is a deeply individual decision; it cannot be derived from a collective type (as Jung would argue).[2]

Frankl contends that a mature involvement with a religious group increases the sense of purpose in life.[4]

Published editionsEdit

Frankl's book was originally published as Der Unbewußte Gott[5] by Ehrlich Schmidt in 1943; the English language version was published by Simon & Schuster in 1975 under the title The Unconscious God: Psychotherapy and Theology.


  1. ^ Boeree, George. "Personality Theories: Viktor Frankl." Shippensburg University. Accessed April 18, 2014.
  2. ^ a b Fuller, Andrew Reid. Psychology and religion: Eight points of view. Rowman & Littlefield, 1994.
  3. ^ Lantz, James E. "Family logotherapy." Contemporary Family Therapy 8, no. 2 (1986): 124-135.
  4. ^ Weinstein, Lawrence, and Charalambos C. Cleanthous. "A comparison of protestant ministers and parishioners on expressed purpose in life and intrinsic religious motivation." Psychology: A Journal of Human Behavior (1996).
  5. ^ Moore, Hallie E. "The Unconscious God: Psychotherapy and Theology." American Journal of Psychiatry 134, no. 11 (1977): 1317-b.