In For Love of the Father: A Psychoanalytic Study of Religious Terrorism, Ruth Stein brings a new approach in attempts to find the origin of the rising phenomena of religious terrorism. Stein applies psychoanalytic technique on a letter belonging to Mohammed Atta, one of the 9/11 hijackers. The letter did not contain the hatred and loathing of western world that we would assume.
What, might we say, is the outside? Is it not a placeholder for the unsayable – that which is beyond the bounds of all speech, all signification? The impossible, the outside exceeds all conception, all possibility, and, in a way, all thought. And yet it ever returns, breaking in. We constantly find it in the shadowy depths of all our internal searches and struggles. Are we not ever faced with this unknowable alterity, this unassimilable shade, this unanswerable and evasive question? Is not death one such manifestation of the outside which exceeds our grasp and yet ever demands an avowal from us, in being inextricably entwined with what we term life?