The Hasidic Psychology: Making Space for Others / Edition 2

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Interest in the impact of ethical systems and social or religious ideologies on socio-behavioral patterns is a longstanding theme in social science research. While interest may have begun with Max Weber and his thesis of the relationship between the Protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism, it extends far beyond this. Surprisingly, few studies have delved into the socio-behavioral patterns emanating from Jewish ethics. This book, with a new introduction by the author, fills that gap.

As Hasidic Psychology makes clear, Jewish ethics are unique in many ways, especially in that they are essentially other-centered. Man's ability to affect his own future and interpersonal relations are explained according to the theory of contraction, popularized in Hasidic thought: God, by contracting Himself to evacuate space for the human world, bestowed upon man the power and responsibility to determine his own future, and even affect God's disposition.

In the first part of the book, the sociological-structural concept of mono versus multiple ideal labeling is introduced. This concept refers to a social system in which diverse material and spiritual actualization patterns are structurally introduced as equal social ideals. In the second part, basic tenets of classic interaction and socialization are compared to the interpersonal perspective, and the contraction theory is explained as a process of "mutual emulation," whereby father and son affect each other. In the third part, a functional approach to deviance is developed through the Hasidic process known as "ascend via descend."

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A stimulating contribution in the field of the sociology of religion. . . . This scholarly, well-based approach is a breakthrough in the social and psychological study of Hasidic ethics." —David Flusser, author, Jewish Sources in Early Christianity "In remarkable insights [Rotenberg] intertwines the old and the new, the theological and the scientific, the mystic and the pragmatic, to produce brilliant new insights into our most pressing current social problems." —Bernard L. Diamond, author, The Psychiatrist in the Courtroom
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780765805386
  • Publisher: Transaction Publishers
  • Publication date: 11/1/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 243
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.72 (h) x 0.53 (d)

Meet the Author

Mordechai Rotenberg is a professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Among his other books are Between Rationality and Irrationality, Rewriting the Self, Hasidic Psychology, and Damnation and Deviance, all published in new paperback editions by Transaction.

Mordechai Rotenberg is a professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Among his other books are Between Rationality and Irrationality, Rewriting the Self, Hasidic Psychology, and Damnation and Deviance, all published in new paperback editions by Transaction.

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Table of Contents

Transaction Introduction
I The Sociological Perspective
1 Salvation, Monism, and Social Contraction 3
2 The Social Contract and Social Contraction 17
3 Contractional Alterism vs. Contractual Altruism 28
4 Structural Deviance and the Mono vs. Multiple Ideal-labeling System 42
5 Social Crisis and the Mono vs. Multiple Ideal-labeling System 52
II The Social-Psychological Perspective
6 Alter-centered Individualism and Interpersonal Contraction 69
7 The Prussian-Oedipal Father vs. the Maggid's Contracting Father 81
8 Assertiveness Training for "I or Thou" Behavior 89
9 Alterism, Individual Freedom, and "Exclusion" Systems 97
10 Deviance and Interdependence Between Matter and Spirit 110
11 The Modeling Role of the Zaddik in the Inclusion Community 120
12 The Deciphering-Inclusion Process 129
III The Psychological Perspective
13 Ascent Through Descent: the Functional Dynamics of Monistic Deviance 141
14 Functional Phases in the "Ascent Through Descent" Process 156
Epilogue: The Philosophical Perspective
15 Toward a Philosophical Sociology of Paradox 177
Bibliography 191
Index 201
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