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On the Psychotheology of Everyday LifeReflections on Freud and Rosenzweig$
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Eric L. Santner

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780226734873

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226734897.001.0001

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From the Reign of the Undead to the Blessings of More Life

From the Reign of the Undead to the Blessings of More Life

(p.25) CHAPTER TWO From the Reign of the Undead to the Blessings of More Life
On the Psychotheology of Everyday Life

Eric L. Santner

University of Chicago Press

In a brilliant essay, Harold Bloom situates Sigmund Freud's conception of love somewhere in the interstices of Greek, Judaic, and Roman culture. Bloom suggests that Freud's misunderstanding of the nature of authority in Judaism blinds him to the thought that Jewish monotheism in some fashion removes itself from the enigmatic seductions of sovereign power and authority. This chapter focuses on where to locate the specific intervention of psychoanalysis, whether in the form of clinical, therapeutic practice or of cultural critique: Does it belong on the side of investiture and the predicaments of legitimation, or does it belong on the side of a break with the culture of legitimation and its ultimately violent cycles of foundation, preservation, and augmentation (and if so, what might a life oriented by such a break look like)? The conceptual space of this inquiry can thus be thought to span the divide between the sciences of symbolic identity and an ethics of singularity.

Keywords:   Harold Bloom, Sigmund Freud, love, Judaism, authority, sovereign power, psychoanalysis, legitimation, symbolic identity, ethics of singularity

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