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VI. Berdyaev's Conflicted Engagement With Freud And Psychoanalysis

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Chapter Summary

Nikolai Berdyaev is the twentieth-century Russian religious thinker best known in the West and most translated into Western languages. His views of Eros and creativity in relation to atheistic psychoanalytic theories of sublimation makes the exposition point up aspects of Berdyaev, the man and the thinker, that other narratives avoid. This chapter points out that what Berdyaev means by creativity and the products of creativity is a completely different than the concept of the other three religious thinkers and the psychoanalysts, for that matter. To appreciate this, Russian scholar Iury Cherny offers a better characterization of Berdyaev as a utopian. Berdyaev states over and over that "sex" is the most fallen of human passions. Given that sublimation of sexual instinct is the one salvationary path, Berdyaev, its great advocate, declares it impossible in Freud's description of the human personality.

Keywords: atheistic psychoanalytic theories; Eros; Freud; Nikolai Berdyaev; Russian religious thinkers



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