Phenomenology 2010

Volume 5, Issue Part 2, 2010

Selected Essays from North America Part 2

Robert D. Stolorow
Pages 271-279

Portkeys, Ressurrective Ideology, and the Phenomenology of Collective Trauma

In this essay, I extend my conception of emotional trauma as a shattering of the tranquilizing “absolutisms of everyday life” that shield us from our finitude and our existential vulnerability, to a consideration of collective trauma. Using the collective trauma of 9/11 and its aftermath as my prime example, I illustrate how traumatized people fall prey to “resurrective ideologies” that promise to restore the sheltering illusions that have been lost. I suggest that an alternative to these grandiose illusions can be found in our “kinship-in-finitude.”