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On the Psychotheology of Everyday Life: Reflections on Freud and Rosenzweig Paperback – May 1, 2001

ISBN-13: 978-0226734880 ISBN-10: 0226734889 Edition: 1st

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On the Psychotheology of Everyday Life: Reflections on Freud and Rosenzweig + On Creaturely Life: Rilke, Benjamin, Sebald + The Royal Remains: The People's Two Bodies and the Endgames of Sovereignty
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press; 1 edition (May 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226734889
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226734880
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,313,385 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

In On the Psychotheology of Everyday Life, Eric Santner puts Sigmund Freud in dialogue with his contemporary Franz Rosenzweig in the service of reimagining ethical and political life. By exploring the theological dimensions of Freud's writings and revealing unexpected psychoanalytic implications in the religious philosophy of Rosenzweig's masterwork, The Star of Redemption, Santner makes an original argument for understanding religions of revelation in therapeutic terms, and offers a penetrating look at how this understanding suggests fruitful ways of reconceiving political community.

About the Author

Eric L. Santner is the Philip and Ida Romberg Professor in Modern Germanic Studies, professor of Germanic studies, and a member of the Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Chicago. He is the author of several books, most recently On Creaturely Life: Rilke, Benjamin, Sebald, also published by the University of Chicago Press.


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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Manuel Haas on December 4, 2001
Format: Paperback
The aim of his book is a fascinating one: Recently many historians, such as Regina Schwartz or Jan Assmann claimed that monotheism was always linked to intolerance - in contrast to the polytheism it had replaced. Santner argues that, on the contrary, the Judeo-Christian legacy opens up a unique way of seeing and accepting the other as he or she really is.
The hero of this book is Franz Rosenzweig, a German-Jewish philosopher (1886-1929) who is best remembered for his enigmatic opus magnum "The Star of Redemption", which outlined a philosophy founded in Judaism, but which Rosenzweig refused to call religious. I doubt that anyone has ever claimed to have fully understood "The Star of Redemption"; Santner offers one way of coming to grips with this great work: He offers a Freudian reading of Rosenzweig and a Rosenzweigian reading of Freud, or he at least claims he does.
Rosenzweig refused the brilliant career of a conventional university professor of philosophy; he was looking for a different kind of rootedness, which he finally found in the Judaism he had been born into but had so far neglected: There an "ancient treasure chest whose existence he had never forgotten but which he had never fully explored was found to contain his most personal possessions, things inherited, not borrowed." He feels that now he does no longer step outside the flow of life, as he believes academic philosophy does, but can see things in their particularity and singleness even in their "everyday life".
Both Rosenzweig and Freud know that man can never know everything about himself; we feel and "excess of demand", but we cannot really explain why this is so and how it works - even with the help of Psychoanalysis.
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0 of 31 people found the following review helpful By kiki on January 17, 2011
Format: Paperback
My reading of this book coincided with another reading that I was doing for my Research Methods class. The contrast between the two was astonishing. Eric Santer depends on abstract comparisons and complex vocabulary to get his point across (or, at least TRY to). Interestingly, the other book that I was reading discussed what makes "good writing."

According to the book, a good writer conveys his message in a way that his audience can understand it. Because the goal of a good writer is to get his message across in the best way possible, the writer need not depend on complex vocabulary and abstract comparisons to communicate effectively with his listeners. Unfortunately, this is a concept that Santer has yet to master. With his overuse of empty, meaningless words- such as "of course" and "in turn" and "in other words"- its no wonder that he manages to repel the reader. His self righteousness is tangible, and can be read on page, and in every word of every sentence. In every sense of the word, Santer is simply a bad writer.

On the bright side, this text expertly maneuvered the reader into digging deep and analyzing what Santer had to say; the questions "What is this guy talking about?" and "What was the point of Santer writing a book that so few people can understand" were the most common.

Part of being an undergraduate student is about learning and embracing challenges. However, even the most academic of scholars would have trouble embracing this monstrosity. Filled with overly-long sentences and unrelatable euphemisms, this book was not only an embarrassment to its publisher, but it was also horribly and undeniably boring.
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