By Erich Fromm

Within the name essay, Erich Fromm makes use of the instruments of psychoanalysis to ascertain the improvement of the dogma of Christ within the context of social historical past. the remainder essays study mental and cultural issues of prepared perception and humanistic sympathies.

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His most attentive listeners came from the ranks of gardless of its 22 He preached that the kingdom of heaven and judgment day were at hand, bringing deliverthe despised masses. 22 C. M. Dibelius, Die Taufer (Stuttgart, 1911). urchristliche Ueberlieferung von Johannes dem ERICH FROMM 34 ance for the good, destruction for the evil. "Repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" was the burden of his preaching. To understand the psychological meaning of the first Christians' faith in Christ and this is the primary purpose of the present study it was necessary for us to visualize what kind of people supported early Christianity.

Mentioned methodological presuppositions aim will be to understand dogma on the basis of a study of people, not people on the basis of a study of dogma. We of the investigation shall attempt, therefore, first to describe the total situation of the social class from which the early Christian faith orig- inated, and to understand the psychological meaning of this faith in terms of the total psychic situation of these people. We shall then show how different the mentality of the people was at a later period.

This man who became a god, and with whom as humans they could identheir Oedipus wishes; he was a symbol of tify, represented in the Christ fantasy. made him God the father, for if a man could become God, the latter was deprived of his privileged fatherly position of being unique and unreachable. The belief in the elevation of a man to god was thus the their unconscious hostility to expression of an unconscious wish for the removal of the divine father. Here the significance of the fact that the early Christian community held the adoptionist doctrine, the theory lies of the elevation of man to God.

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