Download e-book for iPad: A Forgotten Freudian: The Passion of Karl Stern by Daniel Burston

By Daniel Burston

ISBN-10: 178220346X

ISBN-13: 9781782203469

This publication explores the existence and paintings of a ignored determine within the background of psychoanalysis, Karl Stern, who introduced Freudian thought and perform to Catholic (and Christian) audiences round the world.

Karl Stern was once a German-Jewish neurologist and psychiatrist who fled Germany in 1937 – first to London, then to Canada, the place he taught at McGill collage and the collage of Ottawa, changing into leader of Psychiatry at numerous significant clinics in Ottawa and Montreal among 1952 and 1968, whilst he went into deepest perform. In 1951 he released The Pillar of Fire, a memoir that chronicled his early life, early life and early maturity, his clinical and psychiatric education, his first research, and his serial flirtations with Jewish Orthodoxy, Marxism and Zionism – all in the course of the galloping Nazification of Germany. It additionally explored the long-standing inner-conflicts that preceded Stern’s conversion to Catholicism in 1943.

The Pillar of Fire was once a run-away most sensible vendor, and used to be by way of a sequence of exceptional books and papers that suggest Freud (and psychoanalysis mostly) to Christian audiences, together with The 3rd Revolution (1954), The Flight from Woman (1965) and Love and Success (1975). Stern firmly believed within the compatibility of technological know-how and religion, and used to be a celeb of the Catholic lecture circuit, the place he usually spoke in regards to the evils of anti-Semitism. His friendship and correspondence with Thomas Merton, psychiatrist/psychoanalyst Gregory Zilboorg, philosophers Jacques Maritain and Gabriel Marcel, activist Dorothy Day and novelist Graham Greene (among others) shed massive mild on Catholic highbrow existence within the chilly conflict period, and the problems dealing with Stern, whose simultaneous efforts to strive against Christian anti-Semitism and to combine Freudian concept into the middle of Catholic philosophy met with combined effects.

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118) Because of Kraepelin’s belief that hereditary brain disorders were the root cause of most psychiatric disturbances, there was strong support within the Institute for the surgical sterilization for all schizophrenic, manic-depressive, and “feeble-minded” patients. Stern was quite disturbed by these policies. , Breggin, 1993). Stern was also quick to point out, however, that eugenics and sterilization campaigns—which did not become law until 1933, when Hitler took over—where prevalent before Hitler took power, and that comparable campaigns were afoot in other, non-fascist countries (especially the USA) at the same time.

Stern, 1951, p. 145) Nevertheless, said Stern: Most of them had no roots in Jewry. Its positive values, its great traditions, its spirit were entirely unknown to these people. A senseless and cruel stigma was what Jewry had become to them. (Stern, 1951, p. 145) So while their utopian and socialist ideals were not a problem for Stern, at least initially, by the time he reached his twenties, the secular outlook of most Zionist groups left him profoundly unsatisfied. Nevertheless, while still a teenager, he disagreed vigorously with his mother’s objections to Zionism.

In any case, Karl’s experience in Ebenburg can be summed up in three words—lonely and boring. He and two older boys, Leo and Alex, lived on the second floor of a dismal, mouse-infested building. A dreary synagogue was downstairs, and on schooldays, they attended a school across the road. Stern described Ebenberg as “a drab industrial town,” and the religious instruction he received there as perfunctory and formulaic. “There was hardly anything left of the world of Isaiah—just a little establishment for circumcisions, funerals and for singing prayers on certain days” (Stern, 1951, p.

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A Forgotten Freudian: The Passion of Karl Stern by Daniel Burston


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