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Moses and Monotheism by Sigmund Freud (1939) :: The Progressive Torrents Community
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Moses and Monotheism by Sigmund Freud (1939)


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16.74 MB

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2015-09-16 00:11:08

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Moses and Monotheism by Sigmund Freud (1939)

Moses and Monotheism by Sigmund Freud (1939)

In this work Freud hypothesizes that Moses was not Hebrew, but actually born into Ancient Egyptian nobility and was perhaps a follower of Akhenaten, an ancient Egyptian monotheist, or perhaps Akhenaten himself. The book consists of three parts and is an extension of Freud's work on psychoanalytic theory as a means of generating hypotheses about historical events.

"To deny a people the man whom it praises as the greatest of its sons is not a deed to be undertaken lightheartedly--especially by one belonging to that people," writes Sigmund Freud, as he prepares to pull the carpet out from under The Great Lawgiver in Moses and Monotheism. In this, his last book, Freud argues that Moses was an Egyptian nobleman and that the Jewish religion was in fact an Egyptian import to Palestine. Freud also writes that Moses was murdered in the wilderness, in a reenactment of the primal crime against the father. Lingering guilt for this crime, Freud says, is the reason Christians understand Jesus' death as sacrificial. "The 'redeemer' could be none other than the one chief culprit, the leader of the brother-band who had overpowered the father." Hence the basic difference between Judaism and Christianity: "Judaism had been a religion of the father, Christianity became a religion of the son." Freud's arguments are extremely imaginative, and his distinction between reality and fantasy, as always, is very loose. If only as a study of wrong-headedness, however, it's fascinating reading for those who want to explore the psychological impulses governing the historical relationship between Christians and Jews. --Michael Joseph Gross

Freud's Last Act

Who founded Judaism and monotheism is indeed a tricky but nevertheless intriguing question? Tom Cahill, in his wonderful and lyrical piece "The Gift of the Jews," lists monotheism as an important Jewish contribution to civilization. On the other hand, Dr. Frances Cress Welsin, in the Isis Papers, and others of her Africanist cohorts, suggest that Judaism -- as well as Christianity -- are but off-shoots of well-established Egyptian myths, rituals and religions.

While it is one thing for free-lance interlopers on either side of this issue to speculate on these matters, it is quite another when the father of modern psychology himself, Sigmund Freud, does so -- even if it is done as his last professional act.

Using his earlier work, Totem and Taboo as the psychological foundation and backdrop, Freud in his final book, spins out a not altogether unconvincing tale that Moses was an Egyptian Prince who was killed by his sons, and that monotheism was the necessary cultural invention and outcome that ultimately prevented the cycle of fratricide from continuing.

It is a fascinating read even if not up to Freud's normal high standards of analytical rigor. Despite its speculative nature, this thesis has global implications for contemporary religion, the Western worldview, and for how our current structure of morality was established and continues to work. Five stars. --Herbert L Calhoun


Freud Sigmund Moses and Monotheism Hogarth Press 1939.pdf

Moses and Monotheism by Sigmund Freud.pdf

Sigmund Freud Der Mann Moses und die monotheistische Religion.pdf - The German original

tags: Moses, Freud, Egyptian, nobility, Judaism, Christianity, psychoanalysis

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