LOVE AND SUCCESS: And Other Essays by

LOVE AND SUCCESS: And Other Essays

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Karl Stern, psychoanalyst and chretien engage, has the fervid faith that only comes with conversion. However mindful of ""a Manichaean distrust of technological progress,"" he nonetheless believes that we now reside in ""the dark age of Positivism."" All these essays are brief and incisively done, whether he is discussing the legitimacy of Tolstoy's religious vocation, the ""colonization of the id"" by the purveyors of consumer sex, the career of writer Alfred Doblin (a Jew who found the Christian way), the evolutionary philosophy of Teilhard, the dehumanization and soullessness of computerized medicine, the religious perversions of anti-Semitism, or the self-effacing ""little way"" of St. Therese of Lisieux. His betes noires are moral relativism, Cartesian rationalism, Jansenism and Puritanism. He juxtaposes intuitive wisdom to science, inwardness to objectivization, empathy to the mechanistic psychological model; and views therapy as a process centered on a nonjudgmental ""I-Thou"" relationship between patient and doctor. The goal is to restore the primacy of love, and as for the title, love and success are ""mystically tied to God."" While it isn't precisely Evil he's tilting at, his idea of contemporary skepticism approaches the conspiratorial. A skewed interpretation of intellectual history--but Stem would be the first to admit he's swimming against the tide.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1975
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux