Old and Dirty Gods. Religion, Antisemitism, and the Origins of Psychoanalysis

Book presentation in English by Pamela Cooper-White
and discussion with Donna Orange


Thursday, 24 May 2018, 8 pm, Sigmund Freud Museum

Admission free, please register below

Freud’s collection of antiquities – his "old and dirty gods" – stood as silent witnesses to the early analysts’ paradoxical fascination and hostility toward religion. Pamela Cooper-White argues that antisemitism, reaching back centuries before the Holocaust, and the acute perspective from the margins that it engendered among the first analysts, stands at the very origins of psychoanalytic theory and practice. The core insight of psychoanalytic thought – that there is always more beneath the surface appearances of reality, and that this "more" is among other things affective, memory-laden and psychological – cannot fail to have had something to do with the experiences of the first Jewish analysts in their position of marginality and oppression in Habsburg-Catholic Vienna of the 20th century. The book concludes with some parallels between the decades leading to the Holocaust and the current political situation in the U.S. and Europe, and their implications for psychoanalytic practice today.
Pamela Cooper-White is Christiane Brooks Johnson Professor of Psychology and Religion at Union Theological Seminary, New York, and the 2013-14 Fulbright-Freud Visiting Lecturer of Psychoanalysis in Vienna. She has authored six previous books including Braided Selves: Collected Essays on Multiplicity, God, and Persons (2011); and Schoenberg and the God-Idea: The Opera ‘Moses und Aron’ (1985).
Donna Orange is a psychoanalyst and philosopher living in California. She teaches at the NYU Postdoctoral Program and the Institute for the Psychoanalytic Study of Subjectivity, New York. Currently, she is based in Vienna as Fulbright-Freud Visiting Lecturer of Psychoanalysis.
Photo: Book cover „Old and Dirty Gods. Religion, Antisemitism, and the Origins of Psychoanalysis“ by Pamela Cooper-White, 2017 (c) Routledge


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