AI209 Sigmund Freud's "Moses and Monotheism"

Sigmund Freud's last work was "Der Mann Moses und die monotheistische Religion" (1939). According to Freud's dramatic and dramatically unorthodox re-telling of the Book of Exodus, Moses was an Egyptian rather than a son of Hebrew slaves and a priest of Akhenaten's sun-monotheism. Upon escaping Egypt and attempting to found a "new and improved" version of Akhenaten's religion, he was eventually murdered by his followers, who then, racked with guilt and haunted by his memory, came to revere him and committed themselves to the monotheistic idea he had advocated. This text will be studied in light of Freud's revolutionary "Totem and Taboo" (1913) and "The Ego and the Id" (1923). The guiding two-fold question in the course will be: What are the basic Hebraic conceptual presuppositions that make the theory possible, and how do the non-Hebraic presuppositions organize the theory's structure?

  • Course Specifications
  • Type: Compulsory
  • Lesson type: Lecture
  • Hours: 28 (5 credits)
  • Requirement: 1 essay
  • Instructor: Prof. MICHAEL CHIGHEL
  • Course Readings 1
  • Freud Sigmund, Moses and Monotheism (1939)