Can the story of any person be told without narrating their life with others? Jewish Philosophy and Psychoanalysis: Narrating the Interhuman compares two streams of modern theorists who insist that relationships to other persons are a key to understanding the way the self develops and is constituted, how meaning is achieved, and the dynamics of the authentic life. The modern Jewish philosophers (Franz Rosenzweig, Martin Buber, Emmanuel Levinas) and the post-Freudian psychoanalysts (Erik Erikson, Melanie Klein, W.R.D. Fairbairn, D.W. Winnicott) are also brought together by their critique of the notion of the self as fundamentally autonomous, self-concerned, and self-directive. Still, the Jewish philosophers insist that the deepest encounters with others require allusions to the divine, while the psychoanalysts narrate development in terms of powerful relationships to early caregivers. In addition to a chapter on the French feminist philosopher and psychoanalyst Luce Irigaray, the book concludes with suggestions how these distinctive approaches to the interhuman might lead to new ways of thinking about the goals of society, what we can expect from history, and how death can be faced.
--- from the publisher
"This work advances the ongoing conversation between psychoanalysis and religion by revealing unexpected convergences between modern Jewish thought and post-Freudian developments in (largely) Anglo-American psychoanalysis. Oppenheim traces the striking similarities between each group's conception of human life as fundamentally formed by, and finding its deepest meaning in, relations with others and/or the Other. From Rosenzweig to Buber to Levinas, and from Melanie Klein to Fairbairn to Erikson and Winnicott-and with a substantial foray into the work of Luce Irigaray-Oppenheim demonstrates that, however differently figured, the 'interhuman' returns again and again as a central concern in all of these authors' narratives of human development, love and transformation."-Celia Brickman, author of Aboriginal Populations in the Mind: Race and Primitivity in Psychoanalysis
Introduction: An Apology
1. Jewish Philosophical Narratives of the Interhuman
2. Psychoanalytic Narratives of Development
3. Of Gifts
4. Transference and Transcendence
5. Luce Irigaray: An/Other Fling with the Philosophers
Conclusion: Narrating Life and Death
About the Author:
Michael Oppenheim is a Professor in the Department of Religion at Concordia University, Montreal. He has published books and articles in the areas of modern Jewish philosophy, Judaism in the modern period, philosophy of religion and psychology of religion. Jewish Philosophy and Psychoanalysis follows upon an earlier work, Speaking/Writing of God: Jewish Philosophical Reflections on the Life with Others (SUNY Press, 1997), which focuses on the nature of religious language, and the challenges of feminist Judaism and religious pluralism to Jewish life and thought.