Contemporary Psychoanalysis and Jewish Thought: Answering a Question with More Questions

Editor : Libby Henik, Editor : Lewis Aron

Contemporary Psychoanalysis and Jewish Thought: Answering a Question with More Questions

Book Details

  • Publisher : Routledge
  • Published : October 2023
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 258
  • Category :
  • Catalogue No : 97345
  • ISBN 13 : 9781032210711
  • ISBN 10 : 1032210710
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Demonstrating the connections between contemporary psychoanalysis, Jewish thought and Jewish history, this volume is a significant contribution to the traditions of dialogue, debate and change-within-continuity that epitomize these disciplines.

The authors of this volume explore the cross-disciplinary connections between psychoanalysis and Jewish thought, while seeking out the resonance of new meanings, to exemplify the uncanny similarities that exist between ancient Rabbinic methods of interpretation and contemporary psychoanalytic theory and methodology, particularly the centrality of the question and the deconstruction of narrative. In doing so, this collaboration addresses the bi-directional influence between, and the relevance of, the Jewish interpretive tradition and psychoanalysis to provide readers with renewed insight into key topics such as Biblical text and midrash, religious traditions, trauma, gender, history, clinical work and the legacies of the Holocaust on psychoanalytic theory.

Creating an intimate environment for interdisciplinary dialogue, this is an essential book for students, scholars and clinicians alike, who seek to understand the continued significance of the multiple connections between psychoanalysis and Jewish thought.

Reviews and Endorsements

Lew Aron’s and Libby Henik’s previous two volumes in the Answering a Question with a Question series have provided a vital set of materials linking psychoanalysis and Jewish thought. In this new collection, dedicated to Aron and including a self-reflective chapter by him, debates produced by this linkage are advanced in a gripping and fertile way. Structured across three areas - clinical presentation, biblical commentary, and historical content – the book is an essential contribution to the literature on religion and psychoanalysis, with a profound Jewish twist: interpretation is never-ending and our deepest concerns can always be made the topic of a new set of questions.’

Stephen Frosh, Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychosocial Studies at Birkbeck, University of London

This is a beautiful, rich, and theoretically complex book. Dedicated to the memory of Lew Aron, the contributors explore the links between Jewish and psychoanalytic thought. Its contributors, many world-renowned scholars, address a multiplicity of overlapping issues organized around the threads of Judaism and psychoanalysis.

Joyce Slochower, NYU Postdoctoral Program

The third volume in this important series continues to illustrate the mutuality of influence between Judaism and psychoanalysis - how they encounter, inform and transform each other.

Seth Aronson, Psy.D., Director of Training, Training and Supervising Analyst, William Alanson White Institute; Faculty, Yeshivat Chovevei Torah 

In this third volume of the series, traditions dedicated to upsetting facile representations of the human condition, Judaism and Psychoanalysis, are once again creatively and unabashedly brought together. From this conversation emerges an abundance of riches for the reader–with deep implications on our ethical, clinical, historical, political and theoretical approaches and ideas. The authors should be applauded for bringing us such powerful and dimensional ways of formulating ourselves drawing from the wealth of these traditions.

David Goodman, Boston College

My encounter with Libby Henik’s new book—the next volume in a series that she co-wrote and edited with my late friend and colleague Lew Aron—has been a beautiful discovery for me. Each of the chapters has a tantalizing frame in which one gets the feeling of "just let me read a little more…" But it was my reading of Libby Henik’s own introduction that left me thinking, "Oh my God I have to take a closer look at this." Outwardly about the fundamental similarities of psychoanalytic and Jewish modes of thought, the introduction is itself an example of thinking about the creation and elaboration of our own minds, within ourselves and within relationships, in a way that is extraordinarily profound, beautifully expressed, and anchored in self-evident experience.

Jonathan H. Slavin, Ph.D., Clinical Instructor, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School: Adjunct Clinical Professor, Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, New York University; Former President, Division of Psychoanalysis (39), American Psychological Association; Founding President, Massachusetts Institute for Psychoanalysis

Table of Contents


Part One: Clinical Presentation
1. "You are Requested to Raise Your Eyes and See": The Reconstruction of Religious and Psychoanalytic Belief during the Analytic Encounter
Mitchel Becker

2. God at an Impasse: Devotion, Social Justice, and the Psychoanalytic Subject
Sue Grand

3. This Bread Is Not My Body: Biblical Manna as a Psychoanalytic Paradigm
Moshe Halevi Spero

4. God's Influence on my Psychoanalytic Vision and Values
Lewis Aron

Part Two: Biblical Commentary
5. In the Beginning, There Was... Envy
Libby Henik

6. The Unthinkable Satanic: A Psychoanalytic Insight into the Shofar as Sympton
Rabbi Aton Holzer

7. Abraham Bound and Unbound: The Akedah
Avivah Zornberg

Part Three: Historical Content
8. Trauma, Gender, and the Stories of Jewish Women: The Other Within
Jill Salberg

9. Fearing the Theoretical Other: The Legacy of Kohut's Erasure of the Analyst's Trauma
Ilene Philipson

10. Give Me Permission to Remember: Judith S. Kestenberg and the Memory of the Holocaust
Klara Naszkowska

11. Freud's Moses, Schoenberg's Moses: Two Expressions of Trauma
Pamela Cooper-White

About the Editor(s)

Libby Henik, LCSW is in private practice in New York and New Jersey. She is a graduate of the Wurzweiler School of Social Work of the Yeshiva University and a graduate in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy of the American Institute for Psychoanalysis of the Karen Horney Psychoanalytic Center. She also holds a Master of Arts in Hebrew Literature from Hunter College. Ms. Henik studied biblical exegesis and Hebrew literature with Nechama Leibowitz at Bar-Ilan University and with Professor Milton Arfa at Hunter College. She has taught in Israel, the United States and the former Soviet Union.

Lewis Aron, Ph.D. is director of the New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis. He has served as President of the Division of Psychoanalysis of the American Psychological Association; founding President of the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy (IARPP); founding President of the Division of Psychologist-Psychoanalysts of the New York State Psychological Association (NYSPA). He holds a Diplomate in Psychoanalysis from the American Board of Professional Psychology and is a Fellow of both the American Psychological Association and of the Academy of Psychoanalysis. Dr. Aron is the author and editor of numerous scholarly articles and books including A Meeting of Minds. He was one of the founders, and is an Associate Editor of the journal, Psychoanalytic Dialogues and is the co-editor of the Relational Perspectives Book Series, Routledge.

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