Barnett, Louise K. ‘Swift and Religion: Notes Towards a Psychoanalytic Interpretation’, Eighteenth-century Ireland/Iris an dá chultúr, Vol. 4 (1989), pp 31-40.
The charge that he was not entirely religious followed Swift throughout his lifetime, and persists to the present. According to Barnett, Being a priest was Swifts job, not his chief enthusiasm; in contrast to his satirical writings, his religious pronouncements were unmemorable and uninspired. The author applies psychoanalytic theories of religion to argue that Swifts parental deprivation (Swift never knew his father) and sense of insecurity as a child caused him to create an unusual God image of an impersonal and formal nature. The article considers Freudian theories of religion and the God/father/son relationship and suggests that they can be useful in understanding Swifts general sense of pessimism.