The Dogma of Christ: And Other Essays on Religion, Psychology and Culture

The Dogma of Christ: And Other Essays on Religion, Psychology and Culture

The Dogma of Christ: And Other Essays on Religion, Psychology and Culture

The Dogma of Christ: And Other Essays on Religion, Psychology and Culture

Synopsis

When he was 26, the great psychoanalyst and philosopher Erich Fromm abandoned Judaism, though he himself was descended from a long line of rabbis and the product of a devout Jewish upbringing. The title essay of this collection was first published in 1930, just four years after he made that first, decisive split. It was to point towards the future Fromm's work, presenting the view that an understanding of basic human needs is essential to the understanding of society and mankind itself. The following essays too, show a man who would eventually establish himself as a major thinker, producing some of that era's most influential and astute political works.

Excerpt

Erich Fromm (1900-1980) is known in the history of psychology as bridging the links between Marx and Freud, emerging as he did from the Frankfurt School of Social Theory and carrying his work into the social climate of North American and Mexican culture. His theoretical acumen enabled him to raise fundamental questions about the nature of being human and to locate such questions in the political and economic conditions of his time. With his critical analysis of the contemporary world and his far-reaching insights into the restrictive nature of modern living, he raised the uncomfortable issue of whether the social shaping of the human being did justice to the creative potential of human life. With his unsettling analysis of the conditions of Western society, he was a voice for humanity in a world driven by its own destructive and aggressive impulses. His social critique, not surprisingly, carried forward his childhood fascination with the eighth-century Jewish prophets, Isaiah, Amos and Hosea. These voices of justice continued in the work of Karl Marx and allowed Fromm to establish an effective social critique that still holds a prophetic force.

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