Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

2014 Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming

Judaism and Christianity in Freudian Psychology

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6086-2_357

Freud’s perspectives on religion played an influential role in the development of psychoanalysis. In turn, psychoanalytic thinking has contributed to contemporary ideas on religion. Jakob Freud had already begun to distance his family from observant Judaism when his son, Sigismund Schlomo (Sigmund Freud), was born in Moravia (current Czechoslovakia) in 1856. Whereas Sigmund claimed to have been denied the benefit of formal Jewish education, his assertion appears to be a pretense, as there is convincing evidence that Freud was exposed both to the ancient Hebrew language and to Jewish religious texts as a child.

Eastern Europe in the late nineteenth century was a hotbed of anti-Semitic fervor. Freud recounted his father’s humiliating encounter with a young anti-Semitic street tough and suggested that his father’s failure to defend himself had left the young Sigmund deeply disillusioned. He turned in fantasy to Hannibal’s father – who had urged his own son to right the ancient wrongs done...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departments of Medicine and PsychiatryMassachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA