Westerink’s research concerns the reflection on the cultural-historical position of psychoanalysis and its significance for the development of theories about religion in relation to philosophical anthropological and religious questions. More concretely, it is focused on the question of how psychoanalysis can provide insight into and be made fruitful for understanding the relationship between ideology and mental health in the present time.
“The current research is centred on two authors: Freud and Foucault," says Westerink. “In the research about Freud, the emphasis is on the development of his theories on sexuality, trauma, and religion. In the research about Foucault, the emphasis is on his critical perspective of psychoanalysis and his thoughts about the relationship between Christianity, subjectivity, and psychiatry.”
About Herman Westerink
Herman Westerink (Zwolle, 1968) studied Theology at the University of Groningen. He received his PhD in 2002 for his thesis “Met het oog van de ziel. Een godsdienstpsychologische en mentaliteitshistorische studie naar mensvisie, zelfonderzoek en geloofsbeleving in het werk van Willem Teellinck (1579-1629)” (With the eye of the soul. A study of psychology of religion and history of mentalities concerning Willem Teellinck's view on man, self-examination and belief as found in his written work) about the psychological aspects of the work of a representative of the Nadere Reformatie (further reformation)).
Until 2006, Westerink worked as a postdoc at the University of Groningen after which he was associated with the University of Vienna as a postdoc and lecturer from 2007. Since 2013, Westerink has worked as an academic staff member of the Titus Brandsma Institute, where he was appointed as academic director in May 2021. From 2016 to 2021, Westerink was a visiting professor by special appointment for KSGV at KU Leuven.