Supernatural impotence: Historical review with anthropological and clinical implications Academic Article uri icon


  • The historical and cultural background of the belief in supernatural impotence is presented, emphasizing its possible implications for clinical practice. A brief historical survey of the concept in Judaism and Christianity is followed by a short anthropological survey of supernatural impotence in different ethnic subcultures in Israel. A case demonstration exemplifies the connection between understanding the patient's cultural background and beliefs and the clinical competence of the therapist. The relationship between the clinical- therapeutic process in psychiatric practice and knowledge of the patient's cultural background and beliefs is stressed.

publication date

  • January 1, 1989