Date of Award

6-2003

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Comparative Religion

First Advisor

Frank Gross

Second Advisor

Brian Wilson

Third Advisor

Allen Zagarell

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Campus Only

Abstract

Erich Fromm offers several theories, derived from his analysis of society, which have the potential to greatly contribute to the field of comparative religion. After offering several new definitions geared for the academic study of religion, this treatise will examine the application of Fromm's social-psychological theory concerning the guerrilla warfare between the sexes reflected in religion. I maintain that in order to fully comprehend any religious structure, this conflict needs to be identified and understood. Failure to do so will only offer a partial explanation, generate even more ideology, and not produce any lasting results. The purpose of this thesis is threefold: ( 1) to explore Fromm's understanding of Mother Right; (2) to see how Fromm applies Mother Right to the religious inter-action between the sexes; and (3) to lay some groundwork for my dissertation on Fromm's 'critical theory of religion,' a theory that has not been fully explored yet. I am convinced that one of the key substructures of Fromm's 'critical theory of religion' is his understanding and application of Mother Right, an element that appears to be present throughout all of his work.

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