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Young Man Luther: A Study in Psychoanalysis and History
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Young Man Luther: A Study in Psychoanalysis and History

3.92  ·  Rating Details  ·  141 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
Case & Event
The Fit in the Choir
Obedience--To Whom?
Allness or Nothingness
First Mass & Dead Ends
The Meaning of 'Meaning It'
Faith & Wrath
Paperback, 288 pages
Published April 1st 1962 by W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. (first published November 1958)
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Erik Graff
Dec 11, 2012 Erik Graff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lutherans--well, everyone really. It's fun!
Recommended to Erik by: David Lotz
Shelves: biography
This was a tremendously refreshing book to read as a supplement to coursework in the history of the reformation. Erik Erikson's first book-length psychoanalytic study of a major historical figure, Young Man Luther focuses on the very private person rather than the monk, author, translator, theologian and politician he also was. And by "private" I mean the very private, the kind of facts which the psychoanalytic tradition sees as foundational in character building and which most persons would nev ...more
Summer reading circa 1986 for my high school's 11th grade "AOM" class. AOM stood for "Ages of Man", a subject which anywhere else would have been known as "history". My alma mater was a girls' school in Virginia founded in the 1920s, and the name of the class was one of the things that hadn't changed in the intervening 60 years. However, whatever the name, the history classes for juniors and seniors were taught by a man with a doctorate who believed in intellectual rigor for girls, and how. Ther ...more
Has the double claim to fame of giving birth to both the psychobiography genre and the scholarly interest in Luther's constipation.
dead letter office
Psychologists who double as historians are full of crap. That doesn't mean their books aren't interesting, it just means you have to be prepared to wade through a bunch of silliness in order to get to anything worthwhile. Here's one passage that set off the bullshit-meter:

Thus, in the set of god-images in which the countenance of the godhood mirrors the human face, God's face takes on the toothy and fiery expression of the devil, or the expressions of ceremonial masks. All these wrathful counten
Jeremy Allan
Jun 06, 2015 Jeremy Allan rated it really liked it
Shelves: psychology
Young Man Luther was the subject of my first real "aha!" moment during my university years, reading it in my freshman year at Kenyon College for a course in early modern European history with Professor Reed Browning. I remember thinking at the time, "Oh yes! This is what I have been missing! This is why I came to Gambier, Ohio, to study!" It was a feeling I have sought to recreate ever since, with mixed success, and so it now strikes me as almost odd that I haven't re-read the book until now.

I d
This is a book that gave me the first impression as magnificent and a second thought as it could be better.

Firstly, this is no doubt extremely skillful, first-class psychoanalysis case study that deserves to be celebrated by more people. Erikson is Freud-Jung level good, and his awareness of social currents, political disputes, theological struggles, and above all, a sense of history and becoming is priceless precious within the psychoanalysis school. He understands, he respects and he compassio
Sir Michael Röhm
This psychoanalytic analysis of young Martin Luther provides valuable insights into the man's own thought processes. What emerges is a complex young man whose own fears of The Father - both earthly and Heavenly - led to his famed theological break from Roman Catholicism and the Spiritual Father of the Western world.

He comes across as all too human - not the "Here I Stand" hero beloved of Reformers, but a young man working out his own issues, who inadvertently inspired a theological - and politic
Tom Schulte
May 30, 2013 Tom Schulte rated it really liked it
Among the most intriguing material in this book is when the author references his insights gathered from anthorpological assessment of Native Americans, such as:

"It is well to remember that the majority of men have never invented the device of beating children into submission. Some of the American Plains Indian tribes were (as I had an opportunity to relate and to discuss twenty years ago Childhood and Society) deeply shocked when they first saw white people beat their children. In their bewilde
Mar 07, 2016 Dan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At times profound, at times bizarre! Found out things that will never let me look at him the same again!
Nov 17, 2008 Rachel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first read this book many years--when I was a teenager, I believe, or an undergraduate. It's a dated book, and many critics have pointed out serious historical errors. Erikson, after all, was a trained psychoanalyst, not a historian. It's still an extremely compellling read, though, and very provocative.
Jul 07, 2012 Carol rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is fascinating and really not only about Luther but about the way all of our various stages of development play into the formulation of our adult faith. An outstanding book. I am very grateful that I finally got around to reading it!
Sep 20, 2007 Mandy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A really well-written and fascinating look at one of the major figures in Western history. If you like psychology and are at all fascinated by the sweeping religious changes in history, read this book.
Mar 24, 2009 Jim rated it liked it
This is good if you want to know how some in the psychological community view religious beliefs. It also provides some insight into the time period. Does not paint Luther in a positive light.
Mar 06, 2012 Steve rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in developmental psychology or the history of the Reformation.
Recommended to Steve by: Bill Willeford
Great study of a very unusual character as he develops from youth to adulthood. Erikson's specialty is the stages of human life, and here he has an extreme and well-known individual to work with.
Jan 25, 2015 Nenad rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An insightful psychoanalytical interpretation of Luther's life and some of his theological innovations.
Jan 21, 2010 pjr8888 rated it really liked it
published july 1962, sixteenth printing
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Erik Erikson was a German-born American developmental psychologist and psychoanalyst known for his theory on psychosocial development of human beings. He may be most famous for coining the phrase identity crisis. His son, Kai T. Erikson, is a noted American sociologist.

Although Erikson lacked even a bachelor's degree, he served as a professor at prominent institutions such as Harvard and Yale.
More about Erik H. Erikson...

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