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Snyder, D.M. (1993). Judaism and Freud: The Inclinations to Do Good and Evil. Psychoanal. Contemp. Thought, 16(1):103-122.

(1993). Psychoanalysis and Contemporary Thought, 16(1):103-122

Judaism and Freud: The Inclinations to Do Good and Evil

Douglas M. Snyder, Ph.D.

Core tenets of Judaism are shown to be reflected in Freud's psychoanalysis. In addition, the strong Jewish identity of Freud's father is discussed, and it is proposed that Freud's development of psychoanalysis was indeed affected by Judaism, most likely transmitted through Freud's father. It is argued that scholars, and perhaps Freud himself, have not understood one of the most basic aspects of the Jewish path to God, namely acting in accordance with Jewish Law. Freud understood and promoted normal, healthy action in accord with fundamentals of psychoanalysis that themselves reflected core aspects of Judaism. The centrality of action in Judaism allowed for Freud's feeling that he felt himself in essence to be a Jew. It provided an avenue within Judaism for incorporating the healthy action found in psychoanalysis and for Freud's own promotion of this action and the fundamental psychoanalytic concepts underlying such action.

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