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Meissner, W. (1997). The Religious and Romantic Origins of Psychoanalysis. S. Kirschner, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996. Pp. xi + 240.. Psychoanal. Rev., 84(2):297-300.
  

(1997). Psychoanalytic Review, 84(2):297-300

The Religious and Romantic Origins of Psychoanalysis. S. Kirschner, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996. Pp. xi + 240.

William Meissner

The effort to discern the roots and sources of psychoanalytic ideas can generally be regarded as a worthy enterprise, one that brings an added dimension to our understanding of psychoanalytic concepts and helps to situate them in the history of ideas and culture more generally. While I am generally sympathetic to this approach and like to think of myself as receptive to any new perspectives that may arise from it, I come away from my reading of this book with an uneasy feeling which has something to do with where the inquiry leads, the conclusions of which I find unpalatable, but more, I fear, to do with the methodology which I find suspect and questionable. If Sigmund Freud were alive, as the old joke has it, he would, I fear, be turning over in his grave.

The story that unfolds in these pages is the following.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

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