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Young Man Luther: A Study in Psychoanalysis and History (Austen Riggs Monograph) Paperback – June 17, 1993
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Top Customer Reviews
This is an admirable piece of theorizing and research combined and a fascinating read.
In sum, I found this book is most interesting and useful as a window into a EE's application of his own theory (which is fascinating), rather than a biography of Martin Luther.
Luther's personal development
E. Erikson explains brilliantly `how young Martin, at the end of a somber and harsh childhood, was precipitated into a severe identity crisis for which he sought cure in the silence of the monastery; how being silent, he became `possessed'; how being possessed, he gradually learned to speak a new language, his language; how being able to speak, he not only talked himself out of the monastery, and much of his country out of the Roman Church, but also formulated for himself and for all of mankind a new kind of ethical and psychological awareness.'
Erik Erikson evocates sublimely the `divine call' to Martin Luther (`the fit in the choir') during a heavy thunderstorm, when Luther felt that his life was in danger.
Sexuality and obscenity
Luther's contacts with sexuality were rather broadly ranged (from abstinence to homosexuality).
His schoolmaster `loved Martin with an affection surpassing that of a woman.'
On monastic vows, he was very clear: `the sexual instinct is essentially insurmountable, and should not be subjected to attempts at suppression lest they poison the whole person.'
Another aspect of his sexuality was his `anal fixation': `Thou shalt not write a book unless you have listened to the fart of an old sow, to which you should open your mouth wide and say `thanks to you, pretty nightingale; do I hear a text which is for me?Read more ›
Erikson's central thesis is that Luther's protracted identify crisis caused his development into a radical religious leader. Erikson bases this argument on several events in Luther's life that reveal a severe and unresolved crisis. The first of these events occurs when Luther is in his early twenties. Eventually, Erikson traces this crisis back to the anal stage of psychosexual development. When, well into his adulthood, Luther partially resolved this identity crisis he was able to overcome his timidity and realize his potential. Erikson uses several primary sources, but he relies most heavily upon the writings of Martin Luther.
While Erikson does not explicitly state the time period covered, this book examines events that take place in the late 1400s and early 1500s. Subjects discussed include the social and religious aspects of Martin Luther's life. There are no graphic aides included in this text. This book is organized into eight chapters. In the first chapter, Erikson explains the purpose of this text and his methodology. Specifically, he states that he is going to use psychoanalytic theory and his own clinical experiences with young people to construe Luther's childhood, on which there are very few records.
Erikson examines Luther's "fit in the choir" in the second chapter.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book I needed for school and career as been a God send.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
Extremely thoughtful, cogent analysis of Luther. Does all the psychoanalysis hold up? Surely some of it does and there's much more to the book than simply this. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Joseph Dorman
SENSITIVE ANALYSIS BY A BRILLIANT INTERPRETER OF PERSONALITY AS IT IS INFLUENCED BY INTRINSIC DRIVERS,CULTURE AND HISTORY.Published 10 months ago by Carl R Wirth
This book was not as hard to read as I imagined. What makes a great man great? God's controls circumstances, it's called "providence". Read morePublished 11 months ago by Dale Kennedy
A PSYCHOANALYSIS OF MARTIN LUTHER, THE MAN WHO BROKE FROM THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH AND FORMED HIS OWN, THE LUTHERAN CHURCH. Read morePublished 23 months ago by William J., Bly
The only memorable part of the book is Erikson's conjecture that Luther was sitting on the toilet reading the Bible when he experienced the revelation in the tower. Read morePublished on January 20, 2013 by Edward T. Brading
I haven't read the book yet but Erikson is one of the foundations of psychology so I aim to read this book in the near future.Published on January 16, 2013 by christina
This ground-breaking work by psycho-historian Erik Erikson explores the psychological makeup of one of the great leaders of the Protestant Reformation and how the development of... Read morePublished on August 22, 2012 by Roy E. Whitman