ERICH FROMM: A Protestant Critique by J. Stanley Glen

ERICH FROMM: A Protestant Critique

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Fromm's criticism of the Christian religion, and particularly its Protestant form, is essentially a psychoanalytical version of the Marxian critique. It calls, therefore, for a more intense scrutiny than it has yet been given. The churches have been too much preoccupied with internal conversations to deal seriously with Fromm's criticism; and the social sciences have tended to accept his strictures on Christianity at face value. In pursuing his subject, the author does not attempt an appraisal of Fromm's full psychoanalytical system, but centers upon his view of Protestantism. The central issue in Fromm's thought, he believes, is that of legalism versus the freedom of the Gospel. Fromm tends to identify Protestantism with authoritarian religion, and to see certain of the Reformation doctrines--salvation by grace, the sovereignty of God, predestination, and total depravity, as negative and guilt-producing. In the judgment of the author, Fromm's position with regard to the potential self-fulfillment of the individual derives from romanticism; and his own religious outlook is humanistic. The treatment of these, and related matters, is supported with considerable scholarship and close scrutiny of Fromm's writings. In the end, the reader may be more inclined to concede the validity of some of Fromm's criticism than the author intends--although the book is far from defensive in tone. For students and professional readers in both theology and psychology.

Pub Date: Oct. 17th, 1966
Publisher: Westminster