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A Godless Jew: Freud, Atheism, and the Making of Psychoanalysis
 

A Godless Jew: Freud, Atheism, and the Making of Psychoanalysis (Trade Paperback / Paperback, New edition)

By Gay, Peter

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A concise, pointed historical inquiry into Freud's atheism and Jewish cultural identity and their role in his development of psychoanalysis. -Library Journal A lucid, occasionally provocative close-up of Freud-as-nonbeliever, enhanced by Gay's suave, broadly allusive handling of ... read full description below.

ISBN 9780300046083
Barcode 9780300046083
Published 15 September 1989 by Yale University Press
Format Trade Paperback/Paperback, New edition
Availability
Indent title (internationally sourced), usually ships 4-6 weeks

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Full details for this title

ISBN-13 9780300046083
ISBN-10 0300046081
Stock Available
Status Indent title (internationally sourced), usually ships 4-6 weeks
Publisher Yale University Press
Imprint Yale University Press
Publication Date 15 September 1989
International Publication Date 16 August 1989
Publication Country United States United States
Format Trade Paperback/Paperback, New edition
Edition New edition
Author(s) By Gay, Peter
Category Psychoanalysis & Psychoanalytical Theory
Number of Pages 204
Dimensions Width: 140mm
Height: 216mm
Spine: 12mm
Weight 266g
Interest Age 19+ years
Reading Age 19+ years
NBS Text Psychology: Professional & General
ONIX Text College/higher education;Professional and scholarly
Dewey Code 150.1952
Catalogue Code Not specified

Description of this Book

A concise, pointed historical inquiry into Freud's atheism and Jewish cultural identity and their role in his development of psychoanalysis. -Library Journal A lucid, occasionally provocative close-up of Freud-as-nonbeliever, enhanced by Gay's suave, broadly allusive handling of the historical and theological contexts. -Kirkus Reviews In this valuable essay, Gay ...brings great sensitivity and insight to a debate that still persists in some quarters. -Publishers Weekly Freud ...would have enjoyed Peter Gay's book. -John C. Marshall, New York Times Book Review Freud himself asked why psychoanalysis had to be created by a 'completely godless Jew.' Gay elegantly and convincingly answers his question. -Choice It is an important and welcome contribution to the vast literature that already exists on Freud and the movement that he founded. -Lee Dembart, Los Angeles Times Published in association with the Hebrew Union College Press

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Awards, Reviews & Star Ratings

US Review Adapted from lectures given at Hebrew Union College in 1986, this short volume is a minor addition to Gay's writings on Freud - but an intriguing warm-up for his forthcoming biography. Here, as elsewhere, the Yale historian places Freud firmly in a line with Newton, Voltaire, and Darwin (Gay is also author of a study of the Enlightenment) - stressing the central importance of Freud's atheism, de-emphasizing the role of his Jewishness in the shaping of psychoanalysis. An introductory chapter sketches in the historical conflict between science and religion: in contrast to the attempts of some scientists and philosphers (like William James) to find a place for God and faith in the post-Darwinian world, Freud's unbelief stands out sharply. The next section - called The Last Philosophe - focuses on the resolutely scientific nature of psychoanalysis, on Freud's appropriation of the whole range of the Enlightenment's agenda and his total rejection of all religion as illusion. Then, in something of a digression from the central argument, Gay discusses various attempts by clergymen and theologians to embrace psychoanalysis and reconcile it with religion; for Freud (and Gay), the common ground that some had discovered between psychoanalysis and faith was a swampy, treacherous bog in which both must sink. And the final chapter examines psychoanalysis as a Jewish science - in order to conclude that it is no such thing: Gay is fairly convincing in discounting the importance of Freud's substantially Jewish clientele (their problems were universal), less so in distancing Freud from Jewish religious and mystical heritages; and, while granting that anti-Semitism may have played a role in preparing Freud for the life of an isolated, much-attacked scientist, Gay seems to overlook (or dismiss) other aspects of Jewish culture and intellectual tradition that perhaps influenced the development of psychoanalysis. Throughout, in fact, Gay's determination to cast Freud (not wrongly) as a neo-Enlightenment hero may result in some overkill, even some tunnel-vision. But this is nonetheless a lucid, occasionally provocative close-up of Freud-as-nonbeliever, enhanced by Guy's suave, broadly allusive handling of the historical and theological contexts. (Kirkus Reviews)

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