Article Details

In: KulturPoetik 2020, Issue 1


Ethel Matala de Mazza


Ödipus und die Wilden. Freud über die Urgeschichte der Schuld-Kultur




The Œdipus Complex plays a central role in Freud’s sexual drive theory, but also in his theory of culture, where the parricide is considered to be the primal scene from which religion, morality, and society arise. As Freud explains in Totem and Taboo, the murderous brothers of the primal horde suffer from a sense of guilt that leads them to reject their deed and end their savage life. The article wants to elucidate the reasons why any civilization in Freud’s understanding has to be conceived of as a ›guilt culture‹. A second focus lies upon his valuation of the sense of guilt as »creative«.