Young Man Luther: A Study in Psychoanalysis and History by Erik Erikson




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Young Man Luther: A Study in Psychoanalysis and History is a 1958 book by psychologist Erik Erikson, the founder of today's accepted depiction of the growth and evolution of the psyche throughout the lifelong cycle, and coiner of the term "identity crisis". It was one of the first psychobiographies of a famous historical figure. Erikson found in Martin Luther a good model of his discovery of "the identity crisis". Erikson was sure he could explain Luther's spontaneous eruption, during a monastery choir practice, "I am not!"

According to Erikson, Luther suffered through an environment that fomented crisis, and succeeded in a healthy resolution, thereby becoming more fulfilled than if the crisis had not been experienced. In the end Luther chose the obedient, provincial leadership path his father had wished for him, rather than the national fame he could have easily pursued after his celebrity and wealth, but only after Luther had disobeyed and suffered many years in an identity crisis.
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