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Tractenberg, M. (1989). Circumcision, Crucifixion and Anti-Semitism—The Antithetical Character of Ideologies and their Symbols which Contain Crossed Lines. Int. R. Psycho-Anal., 16:459-471.

(1989). International Review of Psycho-Analysis, 16:459-471

Circumcision, Crucifixion and Anti-Semitism—The Antithetical Character of Ideologies and their Symbols which Contain Crossed Lines

Moisés Tractenberg

SUMMARY

The representation of Christ crucified is that of an archetypal object structured by highly

traumatic contents and images stemming from the archaic practices of filicide and the castration and circumcision of sons.

Jewish ritual circumcision, and genital mutilations performed by other people as initiation rites show group behaviour typical of manic reactions and triumphs.

Pre-Christian anti-Semitism in the Graeco-Roman period contained elements of national and religious rivalry. The anti-Semitism introduced by the Church in the European Christian world, on the other hand, took the form of a religious ideology antagonistic to the Jewish religious ideology. It thus gave rise to myths and legends which introduced the negative stereotype of the 'perverse Jew' and the 'deicide people' which has been perpetuated through the centuries by virtue of its unconscious links with the practice of Jewish ritual circumcision and the reactivation of memories of the crucifixion.

The principal religious and political ideologies of the modern world confront each other as profound antitheses. Their most venerated ornamental symbols are all made up of lines and elements which cross, allowing the expression of metonymically unconscious antithetical contents of an ideal primal scene or castration.

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