In the presence of some 100 guests, IPU President Professor Martin Teising spoke of the important contribution made by Erich Fromm to the development of psychology as a discipline in the 20th Century despite a loss of public awareness in recent years of Fromm’s role in developing psychoanalytic theory and its clinical applications. The goal of the Erich Fromm Study Center at the IPU, Teising said, is therefore to bring Fromm back to the center of contemporary academic debates.
The Erich Fromm Study Center, headed by Erich Fromm Professor Thomas Kuehn, promotes teaching and research on Frommian theory at the IPU and beyond. International exchange on Fromm’s work is also supported via the International Erich Fromm Research Conference. The second edition of this flagship event is scheduled to be held at the IPU in Berlin from 21-23, 2018.
In his welcome speech at the EFSC Opening Ceremony in Berlin, donor Karl Schlecht spoke of his motivation for supporting the Erich Fromm Study Center as well the Erich Fromm Institute in Tuebingen. Fascinated by Fromm’s concept of love, Schlecht argued that Fromm’s humanistic ideas should return to the heart of the contemporary university, particularly in the realm of management education and “Organizational Studies”, as the corresponding study program at the IPU is called.
The highlight of the opening celebration, however, was the inaugural lecture of Erich Fromm Professor Thomas Kuehn. A specialist in Work and Organizational Psychology, Kuehn entitled his inaugural lecture “Kritisch, kühn, kreativ – Der humanistische Ansatz von Erich Fromm im Spiegel gesellschaftlicher Herausforderungen” („Critical, Keen, Creative: Erich Fromm’s Humanistic Approach as Reflected in Societal Challenges”). Finally Rainer Funk, the Director of the Erich Fromm Institute Tuebingen and Erich Fromm’s literary executor, spoke about the effects of Erich Fromm’s socio-psychoanalytic approach on psychoanalysis and its applications. Funk, a lecturer at the IPU since 2013, will oversee the running of the Erich Fromm Study Center together with Professor Kuehn. – The papers (all in German) given at the inaugural celebration can be downloaded from the website of the Erich Fromm Study Center via the IPU Website : http://www.ipu-berlin.de.