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Rice, E. (1997). Moses and Civilization—the Meaning Behind Freud's Myth. Robert A. Paul. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1996. Pp. 268.. Psychoanal. Rev., 84(2):300-308.

(1997). Psychoanalytic Review, 84(2):300-308

Moses and Civilization—the Meaning Behind Freud's Myth. Robert A. Paul. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1996. Pp. 268.

Emanuel Rice, M.D.

For much of the last decade of his life Sigmund Freud was preoccupied with his own ethnic and religious origins. The culmination of what now appears to be a disguised autobiographical process, was his penultimate work, Moses and Monotheism (1939). The figure of the biblical Moses had caught Freud's fascination and interest surely since his childhood and, most certainly, in adulthood. His essay on the Moses of Michelangelo (1914) was the beginning of his attempts to understand this charismatic and influential figure to whom the Judaeo-Christian tradition and Western Civilization owe an enduring debt. Several years earlier his burgeoning interest in the origins of religion was manifested in Obsessional Actions and Religious Practices (1907). The focus on the institution of religion, specifically its hypothesized origins, was further developed in Totem and Taboo (1913).

Freud

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