Theodor REIK : « Ritual : Psycho-analytic studies »

International Universities Press, 1976. Fisrt published in Great Britain by the Hogarth Press in 1931 as No. 19 of the International Psychoanalytical Libraray.
Preface by Sigmund Freud.

Theodor REIK , 1888-1969, American psychologist and author, b. Vienna, Ph.D. Univ. of Vienna, 1912. He was one of Sigmund Freud’s earliest and most brilliant students ; their association lasted from 1910 to 1938. In Europe, Reik conducted research and lectured at several psychoanalytic institutes before coming (1938) to the United States. He was naturalized in 1944. He founded (1948) the National Psychological Association for Psychoanalysis.

In a work Freud characterized as « brilliant » the author, an acknowledged pioneer in the study of the psychology of religion, analyzes a variety of rituals – couvade, puberty rites, the prayers and religious customs of modern Jews – in order to reconstruct the nature of the original impulses from which ritual is derived. He applies psychoanalytic methods of investigation to some of the most highly valued products of civilization – a task Freud called a « scientific duty ». Connecting the superstitious beliefs of prehistoric times with contemporary practices, Dr. Reik illuminates the significance of modern and ancient religion.

The author’s lively style, combined with his scholarly documentation, makes this a book that will appeal alike to psychiatrist, psychologists, and students of comparative religion.

« It cannot be unknown to anyone familiar with psychoanalytic literature that the numerous papers by Dr. Theodor Reik on applied psychoanalysis, especially those concerning religion and ritua, belong to the best and most successful in this field. They are unique in their kind. » – Sigmund Freud

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