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Psychoanalysis, Monotheism and Morality

The Sigmund Freud Museum Symposia 2009-2011

Wolfgang Müller-Funk; Inge Scholz-Strasser; Herman Westerink; Daniela Finzi (eds)

Publication Year: 2013

In this volume renowned experts in psychoanalysis reflect on the relationship between psychoanalysis and religion, in particular presenting various controversial interpretations of the question if and to what extent monotheism semantically and structurally fits psychoanalytic insights.

Published by: Leuven University Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 1-4

Table of Contents

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pp. 5-6

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pp. 7-8

This volume brings together papers presented at two conferences held in 2009 and 2011 by the Sigmund Freud Foundation. Since its establishment in 2003, the Foundation has been presenting an extensive program of scholarly events such as these as a continuation of the activities of the Sigmund Freud Society. ...

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pp. 9-14

This book works out and connects the results of two ambitious international conferences held between 2009 and 2011 organised by the Sigmund Freud Foundation in Vienna: ‘The Force of Monotheism’ and ‘Does Psychoanalysis Set Limits? Authority, Norms, Law, …and Perversion’. ...

Part I: The Forces of Monotheism

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Moses’ Heritage. Psychoanalysis between Anthropology, History and Enlightenment

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pp. 17-30

Freud’s essay Der Mann Moses und die monotheistische Religion is out on a limb, not only because it is a late work and not only because there is, as is often observed, a mirroring effect in the text that confronts us with Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, as the double and the counterpart of Moses, the founder of Jewish monotheism. ...

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The Jewish Tradition in Sigmund Freud’s Work

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pp. 31-48

Freud then summarises his hypotheses: Moses was a high-ranking Egyptian civil servant and a believer in the first monotheistic religion - that of Aton, which was made the official religion by Pharaoh Echnaton around 1350 BC. When the new religion collapsed after the Pharaoh’s death Moses chose the Semitic people of the Jews ...

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Islam in Light of Psychoanalysis

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pp. 49-60

In the mid-eighties it seemed to me necessary to deal with Islam from a psychoanalytic perspective, although for my part there was no previous indication this task would be necessary, since Islam occupied a ghostly presence in the psychoanalytic literature. ...

Part II: Religion and its Critiques

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Freud’s Conception of Religion within the Context of the Modernist Critical Discourse

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pp. 63-74

A critique of religion can take various forms. The form it takes can range from an immanent investigation of dogmas, and thus of intra-religious animosities arising from differing conceptions of God and belief, to a critique of religious institutions, which nonetheless does not call belief into question as such. ...

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The Need to Believe and the Desire to Know, Today

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pp. 75-92

When approaching the immense continent of religious experience from a psychoanalytical point of view, my thoughts are directed to Sigmund Freud, to his genius that, from Totem and Taboo (1912) and Moses and Monotheism (1930) – to only cite these two – opened up a new way of thinking religious experience. ...

Part III: Femininity and the Figure of the Father

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Monotheism and the “Repudiation of Femininity”

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pp. 95-112

At its heart, Western civilisation contains a drive towards unification. This drive, according to thinkers from a number of theoretical persuasions, helps to explain the link between Occidental rationality and the project of domination. When the multifariousness of existence is reduced to unity, when the unique entity is subsumed under the abstract universal ...

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Fort!/Da! Through the Chador: The Paradox of the Woman’s Invisibility and Visibility

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pp. 113-132

“[E]ach of us enters the world through the body of a woman, – a carnal enigma that has virtually baffled our systems of understanding, rather than fleeing, condemning, or idealising the body of the (m)other, we need to recognize her in ourselves,” writes Sprengnether.1 ...

Part IV: Morality

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The Two Sources of Morality in Freud’s Work

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pp. 135-142

It has been already pointed out that Freud’s statements about morality seem to be ambiguous and even contradictory. On the one hand, we know that Freud is an eager advocate of cultural institutions and of all that human civilisation has acquired throughout its history in regard to spirituality or a sense of an ideal. ...

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On Moral Responsibility: A Freudian Perspective

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pp. 143-154

My interest in the issue of moral responsibility in Freud’s writings has been triggered by a larger project I have been working on over the past two years: the filiation between Freudian psychoanalysis and Reformation thought – a project which originated from a single germ cell, ...

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Pathology and Moral Courage in Freud’s Early Case Histories

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pp. 155-172

In characterising the difference between the Josef Breuer and Sigmund Freud approaches to the causes of hysteria, James Strachey, the English editor of the Studies on Hysteria, spoke of a “remarkable paradox” concerning the scientists’ intentions and what they actually achieved. While Breuer aimed to deal with psychical processes in “the language of psychology”, ...

Part V: Law and Perversion

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Does Perversion Need the Law?

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pp. 175-184

In Francophone countries, many persons – even if they are not analysts – have a rather precise idea of what constitutes a perverse person, whom they would say, more or less, is “someone who needs the Law in order to take enjoyment” – a view undoubtedly owing to a certain popularisation of Lacanian thinking in that culture. ...

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Outlawed by Nature? A Critique of Some Current Psychiatric and Psychoanalytic Theories of Sexual Perversion

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pp. 185-198

In 1973, the American Psychiatric Association organised a symposium under the title ‘Should Homosexuality be in the APA Nomenclature?’ The second edition of the ‘Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders’ (DSM) had unambiguously qualified homosexuality as a mental disorder. ...


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pp. 199-208

Notes on the Contributors

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pp. 209-212

E-ISBN-13: 9789461660800
Print-ISBN-13: 9789058679352

Page Count: 216
Publication Year: 2013