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Robert Whitehead of London, a self-described “Business Man” who was “no Churchman and not a Jesus worshipper, much as I admire him,” wrote to...

Robert Whitehead of London, a self-described “Business Man” who was “no Churchman and not a Jesus worshipper, much as I admire him,” wrote to Robert Eisler on New Year’s Eve of 1929, asking “if it is a frequent occurrence that men see The Christ; and are there occasions known when the visions are free from religiosity and at the same time full of life and power?” These questions came in light of Whitehead’s dramatic experience when he had seen a blazing vision of Christ in his home. In letters between the two men over the next few years, Eisler gave a startling psychoanalytic interpretation of the dream, which he eventually published. In this episode, I talk about Eisler’s only known attempt to psychoanalyze anyone else with psychoanalyst and religion scholar Marsha Hewitt.

Guest: Marsha Hewitt (Trinity College, University of Toronto)

Voice of Robert Eisler: Logan Crum

Additional voices: Logan Marshall

Music: “Shibbolet Baseda,” recorded by Elyakum Shapirra and His Israeli Orchestra.

Funding provided by the Ohio University Humanities Research Fund and the Ohio University Honors Tutorial College Internship Program.

Special thanks to the Warburg Institute.

Bibliography and Further Reading

Eisler, Robert. The Messiah Jesus and John the Baptist According to Flavius Josephus’ Recently Rediscovered ‘Capture of Jerusalem’ and Other Jewish and Christian Sources. London: Methuen & Co, 1931.

———. “Eine Jesusvision des. 20 Jahrhunderts psychologisch untersucht.Zeitschrift für Religionspsychologie 11 (1938): 14-41.

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Associate Professor Brian Collins is the Drs. Ram and Sushila Gawande Chair in Indian Religion and Philosophy at Ohio University. He can be reached at collinb1@ohio.edu.