The Jewish World of Sigmund Freud

Essays on Cultural Roots and the Problem of Religious Identity


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About the Book

Though Freud is one of the towering intellectual figures of the twentieth century, too little attention has been paid to the influence of his Jewish identity upon his life and work, particularly the impact of growing up a Jew in turn-of-the-century Vienna. The 14 essays in this volume explore the ways in which Freud and his followers were embedded in the cultural matrix of Jewish Central and Eastern Europe.
Topics include general, sociological, historical, and cultural issues and then turn to the personal: Freud’s education, his Jewish identity, and his thoughts about Judaism. Though a secular and ambivalent Jew, Freud’s emphasis on intellectualism and morality reveal the deep and abiding influence of European Jewish tradition upon his work.

About the Author(s)

Arnold D. Richards, M.D. is a practicing psychoanalyst, the former chairman of the Board of the YIVO Institute of Jewish Research, and the former editor of the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Arnold D. Richards, M.D.
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 204
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2010
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4424-3
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5589-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Introduction      1

Hidden in Plain Sight: Freud’s Jewish Identity Revisited
Jill Salberg      5
Assimilation and Affirmation: The Jews of Freud’s Vienna
Marsha L. Rozenblit      22
Being Mr. Somebody: Freud and Classical Education
Richard H. Armstrong      35
The Neue Freie Presse Neurosis: Freud, Karl Kraus, and the Newspaper as Daily Devotional
Leo A. Lensing      51
Sigmund Freud and Electrotherapy
Sander L. Gilman      66
Anti-Semitism in the Freud Case Histories
Harold P. Blum      78
Freud’s Theory of Jewishness: For Better and for Worse
Eliza Slavet      96
Freud and Levinas: Talmud and Psychoanalysis Before the Letter
Ethan Kleinberg      112
Freud’s Moses and Viennese Jewish Modernism
Abigail Gillman      126
Freud’s Michelangelo: The Sculptural Meditations of a Hellenized Jew
Mary Bergstein      136
Freud, Moses, and Akhenaten
Florence Dunn Friedman      144
Sigmund Freud in Exile: The End of an Illusion
Frank Mecklenburg      160
“Leaving This World with Decency”: Psychoanalytical Considerations on Suicide in the Life and Work of Sigmund Freud
Benigna Gerisch      165
Freud’s Jewish World: A Historical Perspective
Steven Beller      175

About the Contributors      187
Index      191

Book Reviews & Awards

“a useful contribution to our understanding of Sigmund Freud and his relationship to his Jewish identity”—National Jewish Post & Opinion Indianapolis; “fascinating book”—Azure: Ideas for the Jewish Nation; “imprssive…fascinating”—German Studies Review.