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Moses and Monotheism Paperback – Jan 12 1955
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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 Gross
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Freud's speculations on various aspects of religion where he explains various characteristics of the Jews in their relations with the Christians.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
The essays join together the main ideas from "Totem and Taboo" and "The Future of an Illusion" in a study of the Jewish (and Catholic) founding texts. He believed the biblical Moses to be an Egyptian, who imposed his failed religion on a wandering tribe nearby. The Oedipus effect ensued, leading to collective repression. Thus, widespread belief in one god is a symptom of our repressed guilt for having murdered Moses thousands of years ago. Through it all, you can hear the author's voice, desperately attempting to grasp what it really means to be one of the chosen people of Moses during the Holocaust.
If you liked this I would highly recommend:
Things Hidden Since the Foundation of the World - René Girard
Erotism - Georges Bataille
The hypotheses raised in the book are polemical, and this seems to be a kind of a Freudian trademark, and they are nothing less than:
1- Moses was in fact Egyptian and worked as a general in the staff of the Egyptian pharaoh Ikhenaton, who urged the untill then polytheists Egyptians to adore Aton as only God and to adopt monotheism. When the pharaoh died, Moses tried to convince the Jews working at the northeast region of Egypt that they were the chosen people and to follow him. Many of the theories present in this book are in fact development of a hypothesis already raised by Freud in his earlier book "Totem and Taboo" and represents a serious attempt at demolishing the foundations of both the Mosaic religion as Christianity. The idea is that a band of brothers opressed by the father in fact killed him, and out of a guilty feeling payed tribute to him in a series of disguised primitive rituals to honor him in group.
2 - The circuncisiom was already practise at Egypt and was not something invented by Jeovah as a sign of the alliance (covenant)between Him and the Jewish people. Also, in Freud's hypothesis, Jeovah was a demi-god of the Volcanoes and many of his later carachteristics were later adoptions of Egyptian religious tendencies by means of the Levites, who, again in Freud's view, were not the son of Levi (one of the ten tribes of Israel) but rather were also of Egyptian origin and followers of Moses, who in fact was killed by the Egyptian jews, etc...
If you think this is all the book portrays, you are pretty much wrong.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
The premise of this book is that the biblical character Moses, rather than being born into an ancient Hebrew family was in fact Egyptian. Read morePublished on April 16 2006 by Dwayne Nietzche
I did not know all of this about Freud, and I just remember being in the bookstore, loving the cover, realizing he was who wrote it and I had to get it, and I loved it. Loved it. Read morePublished on Feb. 28 2004 by Kristin B.
An excellent work of Freud. This thesis is not misses for nobody. The scholars know that the judaism is an endless mixture of foreign concepts, that it has been benefitted of... Read morePublished on July 21 2002
I found this book very enlightening, not because the premise is necessarily factual, but because through Freud's alternative ideas on the Moses legend we gain additional insight... Read morePublished on April 5 2002 by Brad Saltzberg
This is my favorite nut book of all time, principally because it was written by THE most original thinker of the 20th century. Read morePublished on Jan. 11 2002 by the wizard of uz
An outstanding and audacious book.
Not to many people have knowledge of this subject on Freud's writings. Read more
I feel this short book is well worth reading. Freud, at the time, was debating whether to leave Nazi-occupied Austria and was deeply afraid that the public would misinterpret him. Read morePublished on Oct. 9 2001
Freud speculated two Moses: an Egyptian nobleman who lived near the time of the Egyptian pharaoh Akhenaton, the founder of the world's first monotheism, who gave the Hebrews a... Read morePublished on July 22 2001 by Craig Chalquist, PhD, author of TERRAPSYCHOLOGY and DEEP CALIFORNIA