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

By Daniel Burston

This e-book explores the lifestyles and paintings of a ignored determine within the historical past of psychoanalysis, Karl Stern, who introduced Freudian conception 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 college and the college of Ottawa, changing into leader of Psychiatry at numerous significant clinics in Ottawa and Montreal among 1952 and 1968, while he went into deepest perform. In 1951 he released The Pillar of Fire, a memoir that chronicled his adolescence, early life and early maturity, his scientific and psychiatric education, his first research, and his serial flirtations with Jewish Orthodoxy, Marxism and Zionism – all in the middle 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 top vendor, and was once via a chain 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 celebrity of the Catholic lecture circuit, the place he usually spoke concerning 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 enormous gentle on Catholic highbrow existence within the chilly battle period, and the problems dealing with Stern, whose simultaneous efforts to wrestle Christian anti-Semitism and to combine Freudian concept into the center of Catholic philosophy met with combined effects.

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Extra info for A Forgotten Freudian: The Passion of Karl Stern (The History of Psychoanalysis Series)

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He was an excellent violinist, who did everything “in some strangely large and strong style,” and refused to follow textbooks. Instead, Volhard’s method of instruction was to confront students with a new patient and a new set of diagnostic mysteries to solve in each class, planting shrewd questions and patiently eliciting answers until a consensus gradually emerged. Between 1930 and 1931, Stern also had the privilege of working with Dr. Kurt Goldstein as a resident in psychiatry at the Frankfurt Neurological Institute.

To those conversant with the Prophets, this passage is very potent stuff, and has enormous resonance for Jews and Christians—and even to secular Zionists, who interpret it allegorically—to this day. But no one in the congregation that day was particularly moved or interested in his rendering of Ezekiel. When Karl arrived home, he received some jocular teasing from his relatives, and conventional gifts like the collected works of Schiller and Kleist, and books on polar expeditions and life in far off Tibet.

His father was a distant relative of Felix Mendelsohnn and an internationally renowned Professor of Orthopedic Surgery. Erich’s grandfather had won one of the first Nobel Prizes in chemistry, and there was even a statue in his honor in one of Munich’s public plazas. Finally, Erich’s great grandfather was a famous general and geographer, who introduced the use of lines of latitude and longitude to Europeans. ” On these occasions, as a rule, Karl and Erich played chamber music together. To a shy and awkward young man unaccustomed to such opulent surroundings, there was a striking lack of formality about the place.

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