Myth and Madness: The Psychodynamics of Antisemitism

Front Cover
Transaction Publishers - Political Science - 191 pages
0 Reviews
Reviews aren't verified, but Google checks for and removes fake content when it's identified

The persistence of anti-Semitism and its current resurgence after a brief post-Holocaust suppression, challenge those who study human behavior to locate the causal bases of anti-Semitism and find approaches to combat it. This is an astonishing report of a nine-year study of the psychodynamics of anti-Semitism. Undertaken by Dr. Mortimer Ostow on behalf of the Psychoanalytic Research and Development Fund, it puts flesh and bones on the discussion of antisemitism in Sigmund Freud's 1939 classic theoretical study "Moses and Monotheism. "Its close adherence to case material, and application of psychoanalytic theory to historical data and cultural products, yields new insights into bigotry and equity alike.

By examining prejudiced patients and their myths, Dr. Ostow shows the common threads of anti-Semitism in a variety of national and cultural settings, even under supposed optimal conditions when antisemitism is stringently controlled. The work uses the psychiatric approach, and can be read as a study of how this area of behavioral science reveals the interplay of the individual and the group, cultural background and material opportunities.

The book is divided into five major segments: Psychoanalytic interpretation of anti-Semitism in the past; clinical data on anti-Semitic sentiments in a variety of personal and national settings; mythological dimensions of anti-Semitism and apocalyptic doctrines; specific anti-Semitic myths including pre-Christian early and medieval Christian, "racial" and post-modern Muslim anti-Semitism. The final segment focuses on the pogrom mentality, including the Nazi phenomenon, antisemitic fundamentalism, and black anti-Semitism.

"Myth and Madness "is informed by an amazing breadth of learning: from biblical exegesis to modern sociology, from close attention to mundane patients to evaluating mythic claims of the loftiest, and at times most dangerous sort. This is a landmark effort--one that will be the touchstone for theoretical and clinical works to come.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Selected pages

Contents

The Project its Background and its Presuppositions
5
Study of Clinical Data
41
Mythology
61
Antisemitic Myths
93
The Pogrom Mentality
149
Conclusions
173
Bibliography
179
Index
185
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 81 - And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.
Page 81 - And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
Page 98 - Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites ! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte ; and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.
Page 100 - Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.
Page 16 - I will buy with you, sell with you, talk with you, walk with you, and so following ; but I will not eat with you, drink with you, nor pray with you.
Page 99 - I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.
Page 99 - Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes : and some of them ye shall kill and crucify ; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city...
Page 100 - I am that Bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from Heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. I am the living Bread which came down from Heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever : and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.
Page 83 - And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron : and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

Bibliographic information