Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Psychology Psychoanalysis

Freud and Monotheism

Moses and the Violent Origins of Religion

contributions by Gilad Sharvit, Jan Assmann, Richard Bernstein, Willi Goetschel, Ronald Hendel, Catherine Malabou, Gabriele Schwab, Yael Segalovitz & Joel Whitebook

edited by Karen S. Feldman

Fordham University Press
Initial publish date
Jun 2018
Psychoanalysis, Jewish Studies, History, Semiotics & Theory
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Jun 2018
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jun 2018
    List Price
    $28.00 USD

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it


Over the last few decades, vibrant debates regarding post-secularism have found inspiration and provocation in the works of Sigmund Freud. A new interest in the interconnection of psychoanalysis, religion and political theory has emerged, allowing Freud’s illuminating examination of the religious and mystical practices in “Obsessive Neurosis and Religious Practices,” and the exegesis of the origins of ethics in religion in Totem and Taboo, to gain currency in recent debates on modernity. In that context, the pivotal role of Freud’s masterpiece, Moses and Monotheism, is widely recognized.
Freud and Monotheism brings together fundamental new contributions to discourses on Freud and Moses, as well as new research at the intersections of theology, political theory, and history in Freud’s psychoanalytic work. Highlighting the broad impact of Moses and Monotheism across the humanities, the contributors hail from such diverse disciplines as philosophy, comparative literature, cultural studies, German studies, Jewish studies and psychoanalysis.
Jan Assmann and Richard Bernstein, whose books pioneered the earlier debate that initiated the Freud and Moses discourse, seize the opportunity to revisit and revise their groundbreaking work. Gabriele Schwab, Gilad Sharvit, Karen Feldman, and Yael Segalovitz engage with the idiosyncratic, eccentric and fertile nature of the book as a Sp?tstil, and explore radical interpretations of Freud’s literary practice, theory of religion and therapeutic practice. Ronald Hendel offers an alternative history for the Mosaic discourse within the biblical text, Catherine Malabou reconnects Freud’s theory of psychic phylogenesis in Moses and Monotheism to new findings in modern biology and Willi Goetschel relocates Freud in the tradition of works on history that begins with Heine, while Joel Whitebook offers important criticisms of Freud’s main argument about the advance in intellectuality that Freud attributes to Judaism.

About the authors

Gilad Sharvit is a Townsend Fellow at the Townsend Center for the Humanities at the University of California, Berkeley.

Gilad Sharvit's profile page

Karen S. Feldman is Associate Professor of German at the University of California, Berkeley. She is author of Binding Words: Conscience and Rhetoric in Hobbes, Hegel and Heidegger.

Karen S. Feldman's profile page

Jan Assmann's profile page

Richard Bernstein's profile page

Willi Goetschel is Professor of German and Philosophy at the University of Toronto.

Willi Goetschel's profile page

Ronald Hendel's profile page

Catherine Malabou, holder of Visiting Chairs in numerous North American universities, teaches philosophy at the CRMEP (Center for Research in Modern European Philosophy) at Kingston University (UK). The most recent of her books are, Changing Difference: The Feminine in Philosophy, and, with Judith Butler, You Will Be My Body for Me.

Catherine Malabou's profile page

Gabriele Schwab's profile page

Yael Segalovitz's profile page

Joel Whitebook's profile page

Editorial Reviews

There really is nothing new about anti-Semitism in the age of today’s white ethno-nationalism. Freud and Montheism brings the debate about Sigmund Freud’s last work on the origins of antisemitism up to the present day. Gilad Sharvit and Karen Feldman have compiled a brilliant selection of essays examining the historical and philosophical underpinnings of Moses and Monotheism by the leading specialists on this complex and eternally engaging text. They illustrate quite well the complexity of understanding anti-Semitism from the standpoint of the victim of the Nazis in the 1940s or of the alt-right today. A must add to any library on the history of anti-Semitism.---Sander Gilman, Emory University,

Other titles by Ronald Hendel