Press Conference at the French Cultural Centre, Rome (The Triumph of Religion) : 29th October 1974 : Jacques Lacan

by Julia Evans on October 29, 1974

Please note : The edited version of this text, is published as ‘The Triumph of Religion’.

JE comments that Jacques Lacan refers to the ‘one true religion’  at the beginning of this text : ‘If religion triumphs, which is the most likely outcome, (I’m talking about the true religion, there has only ever been one true one), if religion triumphs, that will be the sign that psychoanalysis has failed.’  This is probably a reference to the Roman Catholic Church and not to religion in general as in the Karl Marx quote : “religion is the opium of the people” (which is usually translated as “religion is the opiate of the masses”). Jacques Lacan’s childhood was within the Roman Catholic Church.

1) The full text, probably translated by Jack W. Stone, file created in 2007.  available at  /lacan

2) Translated by Scott Savaiano

Published : here

Available here 

3) Bruce Fink’s translation titled “The Triumph of Religion’ : Edited by Jacques-Alain Miller : preceded by ‘Discourse to Catholics’ : Published by Polity Press (2013)

In French:

1) Published in the Lettres de l’École Freudienne, 1975, n° 16, pp. 6-26.

2) École lacanienne de la psychanalyse : pas tout Lacan : here : Available as : ‘1974-10-29 Conférence de presse à Rome (15p)’ : here


Partial Summary of a Reading of “Triumph of Religion” (Montreal, Canada) : 18th November 2005 : Éric Laurent or here

– The Choice of Psychoanalysis (*) by Fred Baitinger, Lacanian Review Online LRO 203,  22nd January 2020.  Circulated on New Lacanian School of Psychoanalysis’ Messager, as [nls-messager] 3318.en/ Lacanian Review Online: Real and Meaning: Trained to Do That : Available  or  /3318

(*) “The Choice of Psychoanalysis” is the third part of a series of articles titled ‘Lacan and the Posthuman’.

Refers to the Common Good which is part of the Roman Catholic Church’s social teaching.


This text

Analysis Terminable & Interminable : 1937c : Sigmund Freud,  SE XXIII, p209-54 : Published at download  here

& “The Real is Without Law,” Jacques-Alain Miller, Trans. Frederic Baitinger & John Wallace, Lacanian Ink, #47, 2016, pp. 50-78.  I would be pleased to receive a copy of this text.

Citation by Jacques Lacan :

a) Kant avec Sade Kant with Sade: April 1963: Jacques Lacan

b) The Signification (or Meaning) of the Phallus (Max-Planck Institute, Munich) : 9th May 1958 : Availability The Meaning (or Signification) of the Phallus (Munich): 9th May 1958 : Jacques Lacan  or here : also Écrits : 1966 : Jacques Lacan or here

c) The Gospel according to St John: Chapter 1 : Verse 1:  (See also Tracking the use of ‘logos’ in Seminar VI and Seminar VII : November 30, 2013 or here)

The web-site publishes useful information about where to find texts, here

Citations of this text

In  The Zombie Epidemic: Hypermodern Version of the Apocalypse : 25th September 2013: New York: Jorge Assef : See here : Quote : But Lacan points out – and we can verify so – that, eventually, when science begins to show the effects of its discourse: that the natural order doesn’t exist but is contingent, when science opens that hole in the traditional sense of the knowledge about nature, the discourse of religion appears and demand “Let’s not touch the order of nature”; the discourse of religion fills with sense the hole which science opened. And that would be the triumph of religion.

Note: This is probably a further reference to ‘The Triumph of Religion”

P7-8 probably Jack W. Stone: 

Mme Y. – Why use this expression the triumph of religion over psychoanalysis? Do you think religion will triumph?

LACAN – Yes. It will triumph over psychoanalysis, and over many other things too. We can’t even begin to imagine how powerful religion is. I mentioned the Real a moment ago. In this regard religion is going to have many more grounds for soothing people’s souls, as it were, because science will hardly be able to ground the Real from its perspective, since science, as I just said, is about novelty, and it is going to introduce tons of absolutely earth-shattering things into people’s lives. And religion, especially the true one, possesses resources for grounding things that we haven’t even begun to suspect. It’s absolutely teeming with them, it’s incredible. It took them a while, but they finally figured out what a boon science is for them. Science is going to introduce such earth-shattering things that religion is going to be needed to make sense of them. And they know a thing or two about making sense out of things. They can make sense of anything, no matter what, out of human life for example. This is what they’re trained to do. From the very beginning “religious” meant making sense out of formerly natural things. But just because things are becoming less natural, thanks to the Real, doesn’t mean religion is going to stop spitting out its meanings. It is going to make sense out of some of the most unheard-of future ordeals, the ones I mentioned earlier which the savants are beginning to get slightly anxious about. Religion will make very earthy senses out of them. All you have to do is watch how it has already kicked into gear. They are going to great lengths.

Related Programme

This programme, for those who can access BBC i-player, explores a similar process of a phenomena only existing when you measure it and its implications.

Einstein’s Quantum Riddle

Einstein’s Quantum Riddle tells the remarkable story of perhaps the strangest phenomenon in science – quantum entanglement. It’s a story of mind-bending concepts and brilliant experiments, which lead us to a profound new understanding of reality.

At the start of the 20th century Albert Einstein helped usher in quantum mechanics – a revolutionary description of the behaviour of tiny particles. But he soon became uncomfortable with the counterintuitive ideas at the heart of the theory. He hunted for flaws in the equations and eventually discovered that they predicted a seemingly impossible situation.

Quantum theory suggested you could have two particles, which had interacted in the past, and even if you separated them by millions of miles they would somehow act in unison. If you measured one, forcing it to take on one of many properties, the other would instantly take on a corresponding property. Like rolling two dice, millions of miles apart, and as you look at one to see what number it landed on, the other instantly shows the same number. This bizarre prediction of magically connected particles became known as quantum entanglement. Einstein felt it couldn’t possibly be real – it seemed to break the rules of space and time. In 1935, with two of his colleagues, he published a paper that argued that this bizarre phenomenon implied the equations of quantum theory must be incomplete.

No-one could think of a way to test whether Einstein was right, until in 1964, John Bell, a physicist form Northern Ireland, published an astonishing paper. He’d found a key difference between Einstein’s ideas and those of quantum theory. It all boiled down to entanglement. As Professor David Kaiser puts it: ‘We now know this was one of the most significant articles in the history of physics. Not just the history of 20th-century physics; in the history of the field as a whole.’ In 1972 John Clauser and Stuart Freedman built an experiment based on John Bell’s work and found the first experimental evidence to suggest that quantum entanglement really is a part of the natural world.

Today, a technological revolution is under way, with labs around the world harnessing entanglement to create powerful new technologies such as quantum computers. At Google’s quantum computing lab in Santa Barbara, researcher Marissa Giustina describes their latest quantum-processing chip. And in Shanghai, at the University of Science and Technology, Professor Jian-Wei Pan explains that his team is working to send entangled particles from a satellite to a ground station to create totally secure communication links – a major step towards the creation of an unhackable ‘quantum internet’ of the future based on quantum entanglement.

Yet despite this progress, questions still remain about our experimental proof of entanglement. There are possible loopholes that could mean that entanglement may be an illusion and that Einstein was right all along. At the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory in the Canary Islands, Professor Anton Zeilinger’s team is attempting a remarkable experiment to rule out the most challenging loophole. Their experiment uses two of Europe’s largest telescopes to collect light from two quasars, billions of light years away, to control intricate measurements of tiny quantum particles and put quantum entanglement to the ultimate test.

Duration 59 mins First shown16 Jan 2020 Available for 19 days


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Julia Evans

Practicing Lacanian Psychoanalyst, Sandwick in Kent & London


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