This volume contains Freud’s speculations on various aspects of religion, on the basis of which he explains certain characteristics of Jewish people in their relations with Christians. From an intensive study of the Moses legend, Freud comes to the startling conclusion that Moses himself was an Egyptian who brought from his native country the religion he gave to the Jews. He accepts the hypothesis that Moses was murdered in the wilderness, but that his memory was cherished by the people and that his religious doctrine ultimately triumphed. Freud develops his general theory of monotheism, which enabled him to throw light on the development of Judaism and Christianity.
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"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 GrossFrom the Back Cover:
This volume contains Freud's speculations on various aspects of religion, on the basis of which he explains certain characteristics of the Jewish people in their relations with the Christians. From an intensive study of Moses legend, Freud comes to the startling conclusion that Moses himself was an Egyptian who brought from his native country the religion he gave to the Jews.
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