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Freud and MonotheismMoses and the Violent Origins of Religion$
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Gilad Sharvit and Karen S. Feldman

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780823280025

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823280025.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use.date: 23 February 2020

Freud, Sellin, and the Murder of Moses

Freud, Sellin, and the Murder of Moses

(p.138) 6 Freud, Sellin, and the Murder of Moses
Freud and Monotheism

Jan Assmann

Fordham University Press

In his book Moses and Monotheism, Freud relied much more on Sellin’s Mose und seine Bedeutung für die israelitisch-jüdische Religionsgeschichte than is commonly acknowledged. He took from Sellin not only the theory of Moses’ violent death but also that of an ensuing guilt complex that informed the collective Jewish psyche. Sellin took the murder of Moses to be not only the last instance in the series of rebellions that accompanied the exodus from Egypt but also the first one in a series of violent acts against the prophets that ended in the death of Jesus of Nazareth. This connection, however, between the resistance against Moses and the violent fate of the prophets, which Sellin convincingly establishes, has not been taken up by Freud who did not share Sellin’s Christian presuppositions.

Keywords:   Exodus, guilt, Moses, prophets, violence

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