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Fenichel, O. (1943). The Covenant of Abraham: Géza Róheim. Int. J. Psa., XX, 1939, pp. 452–459.. Psychoanal Q., 12:145.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: The Covenant of Abraham: Géza Róheim. Int. J. Psa., XX, 1939, pp. 452–459.

(1943). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 12:145

The Covenant of Abraham: Géza Róheim. Int. J. Psa., XX, 1939, pp. 452–459.

Otto Fenichel

Among skeletons excavated in Palestine, some were of children who had been sawed through the middle. This is given as proof for the existence of Canaanitic human sacrifices. According to the Bible, Abraham, in making a covenant with God, cut the sacrificial animal into two parts. The ritual consists of cutting a victim into two pieces between which the partners to the covenant have to pass. This represents the union of the two partners, and also serves as a threat against breaking the contract. Róheim supplements this general anthropological interpretation. (1) The ritual is a sign that there has been a war which is to be followed by peace. (2) It is a birth (rebirth) symbolism. (3) The birth symbolism is complicated by the destruction of a body.

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Article Citation

Fenichel, O. (1943). The Covenant of Abraham. Psychoanal. Q., 12:145

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