The Jews Killed Moses: Sigmund Freud and the Jewish Question

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Freud completed his last book, on Moses and Monotheism, in 1939, while in his London exile. Its publication was deemed untimely, as its two main theses could be construed as a form of Jewish self-hatred. The first claim questions Moses’ Jewish origins and contends that the founder of the Jews was in fact an Egyptian; the second suggests that the Jews killed Moses and then created his myth as a coping mechanism for concealing their terrible deed. In this article, I contend that Moses and Monotheism can be read as Freud’s intervention in debates on the ‘Jewish Question’. After revisiting Freud’s original argument (I), I assess its reception among leading Jewish intellectuals of the 20th century (II). I then use Freud’s arguments to look at the two key themes of the Jewish Question: understanding the defining features of Jewish identity (III) and the pervasiveness of antisemitism in Western culture (IV).

Idioma originalInglés
Páginas (desde-hasta)89-104
Número de páginas16
PublicaciónTheory, Culture and Society
EstadoPublicada - may. 2024
Publicado de forma externa


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