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Freud and the Legacy of Moses

Part of Cambridge Studies in Religion and Critical Thought

  • Date Published: October 1998
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521630962

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  • Freud's last book, Moses and Monotheism, was published in 1939 during one of the darkest periods in Jewish history. This difficult book has frequently been vilified and dismissed because Freud claims that Moses was not a Hebrew but an Egyptian, and that the Jews murdered Moses in the wilderness. Richard Bernstein argues that a close reading of Moses and Monotheism reveals an underlying powerful coherence in which Freud seeks to specify the distinctive character and contribution of the Jewish people. It is this character that has enabled the Jewish people to survive despite persecution and virulent anti-Semitism, and Freud proudly identifies himself with it. In his analysis of Freud's often misunderstood last work, Bernstein goes on to shows how Freud expands and deepens our understanding of a religious tradition by revealing its unconscious dynamics.

    • The most recent book by the eminent philosopher, Richard J. Bernstein
    • A strong defence of Freud's attempt to characterise the essential features of the Jewish people
    • Engages with recent high profile books on Freud by Yerushalmi and Derrida
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'The book's greatest merit is the fact that it has once more drawn attention to the crucial relevance of Freud's writings to any discussion of religion and modernity.' Studies in Contemporary Jewry

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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 1998
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521630962
    • length: 164 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 13 mm
    • weight: 0.41kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Preface
    Abbreviations
    1. The Egyptian origin of Monotheism and the murder of Moses
    2. Tradition, trauma, and the return of the repressed
    3. Anti-Semitism, Christianity, and Judaism
    4. 'Dialogue' with Yerushalmi
    Appendix: An exchange of Letters between Sigmund Freud and Lou Andreas-Salomé
    Bibliography
    Index.

  • Author

    Richard J. Bernstein, New School for Social Research, New York

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