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Weigert, E. (1950). Magna Mater Im Alten Testament. Eine Psychoanalytische Untersuchung (Magna Mater in the Old Testament. A Psychoanalytic Study): By Ewald Roellenbleck, M.D. Darmstadt (Germany): Claassen & Roether, 1949. 187 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 19:260-264.

(1950). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 19:260-264

Magna Mater Im Alten Testament. Eine Psychoanalytische Untersuchung (Magna Mater in the Old Testament. A Psychoanalytic Study): By Ewald Roellenbleck, M.D. Darmstadt (Germany): Claassen & Roether, 1949. 187 pp.

Review by:
Edith Weigert

This book applies psychoanalysis to the history of religion. The author bases his investigations on the Old Testament, canonical as well as noncanonical, apocryphal scriptures, the explorations of historians, anthropologists, students of comparative religion. The most outstanding psychoanalytic study of the Old Testament, Freud's book, Moses and Monotheism, was not at the author's disposal.

Roellenbleck sees in the religious production of a tribe or nation a spiritual achivement representing specific solutions of conflicts between primary anxiety, primary guilt and primary trust. Different cultural groups have certain common universal symbolisms. The religiosity of the ancient Hebrews, however, differs markedly from the oriental mythologies that developed in geographical and historic proximity. The absence of a maternal deity in the Hebrew religion, the one-sidedly rational and ethical monotheism, centering on a male God, is fundamentally different from the polytheism of the Egyptians, Babylonians, Phoenicians, and ancient Greeks, for whom the ethical severity of paternal deities is balanced by the voluptuous indulgence or uncanny seductiveness of maternal deities.

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