Trauma and Self

By Chuck Strozier

Trauma and Self

This remarkable collection of original essays, written by prominent scholars recognized for their achievements in a wide range of disciplines, defines trauma as a disruption in the fragile process of symbolization, or the human capacity to imbue life with meaning by representing the self’s immortality. The contributors analyze the multiple meanings and deeper significance of trauma, whether of shell-shocked war veterans or victims of sexual abuse, and they discuss its manifestations, both subtle and obvious, in human behavior and memory. Organized as an honorary volume to Robert Jay Lifton, who identified trauma as the core psychological issue of the postmodern world, this book demonstrates how trauma and other fundamental breaks in human continuity inform psychiatric, historical, religious, literary, political, cultural, and scientific interpretations of the self.

What the Critics Say

Where most of us preferred to shut our eyes so that we could sleep at night, Robert Lifton set out to investigate . . . These excellent essays illuminate the life and work of this unique man. 

Martin S. Bergmann, New York University

These eloquent essays are a fitting tribute to Robert Lifton―a man who has done more that anybody in our times to explore how human beings come to terms with the horrors that contemporary society visits upon them. His studies of the self under traumatic conditions have been a source not only of insight, but of inspiration. A salute to a humane and courageous man! 

Jerome Bruner, New York University

Magisterial scholarship . . . haunted anew by the question of the ‘use’ of the Holy Scriptures, which this work has so imaginatively and thoughtfully posed.

The Christian Century

People with an interest in Lifton’s work should find something of value here.

Guy Undrill, University of Bristol

Trauma and Self is . . . an exciting array of responses of Lifton’s work and compelling evidence of the creative impact he has had on the work of respected scholars from many fields.

Merlyn E. Mowrey, Central Michigan University ― Religious Studies Review

A remarkable collection of essays―wide-ranging, penetrating, provocative, vigorous.

Irvin Yalom, Stanford University

Strozier and Flynn have collected a wide-ranging series of essays that show how the concept of traumatic injury can be found in abundance in almost every facet of human life: intrapersonal, interpersonal, economic, political. This volume is so diverse that most readers will be surprised and challenged by some writers they might not have otherwise encountered.

Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences

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