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Berkeley-Hill, O. (1921). A Short Study of the Life and Character of Mohammed. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 2:31-53.

(1921). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 2:31-53

A Short Study of the Life and Character of Mohammed

Owen Berkeley-Hill

The psychology of Freud, which has for its leading motif the insistence on a rigid determinism in all psychic processes, has led not only Freud himself, but many others, who have found themselves irresitibly drawn to accept at least this principle of his doctrine, to submit to a psycho-analytical dissection a variety of historical personalities.

To undertake a psycho-analysis of the prophet Mohammed may appear at first sight to be a rather fantastic enterprise, but in view of the fact that Abraham has subjected the Egyptian Pharaoh, Amenhotep IV, who lived nearly 2, 000 years before Christ, to a most fruitful analysis, I have been tempted to undertake a review of the character of Mohammed along somewhat similar lines, for there is nothing shadowy or mysterious in the records of the life of the Great Arabian Prophet. We know as much of Mohammed as we do even of Luther and Milton.

As in the case of Amenhotep, there exists in the life-history of Mohammed an abundance of evidence which points unmistakably to the existence of a prodigious "parental complex". Therefore it is by no means unlikely that a psycho-analytic survey of the material at our disposal will enable us to recognise at least some of the psychogenic factors which impelled Mohammed to devote his life to the formulation and propagation of a religious and social system that is still, after thirteen centuries, accepted almost without question by a quarter of the population of the world.


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