Ultimate Intimacy: The Psychodynamics of Jewish Mysticism

Author(s) : Mortimer Ostow

Ultimate Intimacy: The Psychodynamics of Jewish Mysticism

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With contributions and comments from a range of distinguished Biblical scholars, this work fulfills Mortimer Ostow's promise to unite psychoanalysis and the study of the Kabbalah. Ranging over both general psychoanalytical commentaries on the framework of mysticism and the "apocalyptical complex" and essays on specific incidents in the Bible and the Kabbalah, it opens doors into many fascinating avenues of enquiry. A glossary of the terms used make it accessible to those who have little or no knowledge of Jewish mysticism; they, along with more experienced students of the field, will find Ultimate Intimacy an engrossing and stimulating read.

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'Regularly in essays, books and lectures on Jewish mysticism, the author will observe that the material is so strange and irrational that it invites psychological analysis. From his point of view, the psychoanalyst easily recognizes familiar dynamic formulations and myths and eagerly explores mystical materials for the universals of human fantasy and the sources of irrational thoughts and behavior; for information on methods of inducing alterations of behavior; and for the universals that characterize the relation between the individual and his community. It is the purpose of this book to introduce the psychoanalytic study of the Kabbalah as a serious discipline.'
- Mortimer Ostow, from his Introduction.

About the Author(s)

Ostow Mortimer was a psychiatrist and neuroscientist who specialised in the study of anti-Semitism and religious and racial fanaticism. He maintained a private practice in Manhattan, and his works include Myth and Madness: The Psychodynamics of Anti-Semitism, Drugs in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy and The Psychology of Melancholy. His studies of terrorism, and his theories on the Psychological causes of fanaticism are arguably more relevant than ever in the post-9/11 age.

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