Psychology of Religion - History - Other Early Theorists - Erich Fromm

Erich Fromm

The American scholar Erich Fromm (1900–1980) modified the Freudian theory and produced a more complex account of the functions of religion. In his book Psychoanalysis and Religion he responded to Freud's theories by explaining that part of the modification is viewing the Oedipus complex as based not so much on sexuality as on a "much more profound desire", namely, the childish desire to remain attached to protecting figures. The right religion, in Fromm's estimation, can, in principle, foster an individual's highest potentialities, but religion in practice tends to relapse into being neurotic.

According to Fromm, humans have a need for a stable frame of reference. Religion apparently fills this need. In effect, humans crave answers to questions that no other source of knowledge has an answer to, which only religion may seem to answer. However, a sense of free will must be given in order for religion to appear healthy. An authoritarian notion of religion appears detrimental.

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Authenticity (philosophy) - Theories of Authenticity - Erich Fromm
... definition of authenticity was proposed by Erich Fromm in the mid-1900s ... Fromm thus considers authenticity to be a positive outcome of enlightened and informed motivation rather than a negative outcome of rejection of the expectations of others ...
Erich Fromm - Bibliography - Later Works in English
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Famous quotes by erich fromm:

    The sadistic person is as dependent on the submissive person as the latter is on the former; neither can live without the other. The difference is only that the sadistic person commands, exploits, hurts, humiliates, and that the masochistic person is commanded, exploited, hurt, humiliated. This is a considerable difference in a realistic sense; in a deeper emotional sense, the difference is not so great as that which they both have in common: fusion without integrity.
    Erich Fromm (1900–1980)

    The pace of science forces the pace of technique. Theoretical physics forces atomic energy on us; the successful production of the fission bomb forces upon us the manufacture of the hydrogen bomb. We do not choose our problems, we do not choose our products; we are pushed, we are forced—by what? By a system which has no purpose and goal transcending it, and which makes man its appendix.
    Erich Fromm (1900–1980)

    Authority is not a quality one person ‘has,’ in the sense that he has property or physical qualities. Authority refers to an interpersonal relation in which one person looks upon another as somebody superior to him.
    Erich Fromm (1900–1980)

    The two most far-reaching critical theories at the beginning of the latest phase of industrial society were those of Marx and Freud. Marx showed the moving powers and the conflicts in the social-historical process. Freud aimed at the critical uncovering of the inner conflicts. Both worked for the liberation of man, even though Marx’s concept was more comprehensive and less time-bound than Freud’s.
    Erich Fromm (1900–1980)

    Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction.
    Erich Fromm (1900–1980)