Spiritual Concerns in Erich Fromm

Volume 16
Fall 1988
Spiritual Concerns in Erich Fromm

This article summarizes Erich Fromm'€™s understanding of human nature and pinpoints his account of the human tendency ever to seek further perfection: biological dichotomy results in contradictions that produce existential needs whose various resolutions determine passions and strivings, which are incessant and inherently unquenchable. Though not wholly unambiguous, his position is basically correct. Empirical evidence and logical argument support it. It presupposes a spiritual component in human nature that strives toward what is objectively correct and truly worthwhile, and so it is not only useful as a secular transformation of many traditionally religious concerns but is also open to easy theistic and, ultimately, Christian interpretation. Here is the basis for an account of spirituality that cuts across culture and religions. Fromm'€™s account of the matter squares well with the more detailed and profound analysis of dynamic human consciousness-'€œspirit'-€”presented by Bernard J.F. Lonergan (1957, 1972) and used by Daniel Helminiak (1987) to provide a technical nontheistic definition of spiritual development.

Dr. D.A. Helminiak
222 - 232
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