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

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9780300040081: A Godless Jew: Freud, Atheism, and the Making of Psychoanalysis
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Argues that Freud was an atheist and that atheism was an important prerequisite for his development of psychoanalysis

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From Publishers Weekly:
The notion that psychoanalysis is somehow a "Jewish science" has brought together strange bedfellows: gentiles eager to disparage Sigmund Freud, Jews eager to claim him and his daughter, Anna Freud. Gay (The Bourgeois Experience) reviews the various claims for the Jewishness of psychoanalysis and finds them to be wholly without merit. Paradoxically, he argues that Freud's position as an outsideran atheist and Jewenabled him to pierce the taboo topics of sexuality and the unconscious which led to his momentous discoveries. In this valuable essay, Gay, a professor of history at Yale, brings great sensitivity and insight to a debate that still persists in some quarters. He disputes the idea that psychoanalysis is a form of religion, tracing Freud's roots back to Enlightenment thinkers such as Locke and Newton.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal:
This is a concise, pointed historical inquiry into Freud's atheism and Jewish cultural identity and their role in his development of psychoanalysis. A fair-minded, careful scholar, Gay does not engage in the kind of "wild analysis" often associated with studies of Freud's personal psychology and motives in developing his theories. Unfortunately, though, the book is rather thin and unexciting in its conclusion. Essentially, Gay emphasizes Freud's identification with the scientific attitude and with scientist predecessors such as Darwin. While Freud's Jewishness was clearly very much a part of his personal identity, his firmly rooted skepticism and critical scrutiny of religion (his atheism) seems more central to the development of psychoanalysis. Paul Hymowitz, Cornell Medical Ctr., New York
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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