Erik Homburger Erikson (15 June 1902 – 12 May 1994) was a Danish-German-American developmental psychologist and psychoanalyst known for his theory on social development of human beings, and for coining the phrase identity crisis.
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- Healthy children will not fear life if their elders have integrity enough not to fear death.
- Childhood and Society (1950), p. 269
- Children love and want to be loved and they very much prefer the joy of accomplishment to the triumph of hateful failure. Do not mistake a child for his symptom.
- Childhood and Society (1950)
- When established identities become outworn or unfinished ones threaten to remain incomplete, special crises compel men to wage holy wars, by the cruelest means, against those who seem to question or threaten their unsafe ideological bases.
- "The Problem of Ego Identity" (1956), published in Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 4:56-121
- Doubt is the brother of shame.
- "The Problem of Ego Identity" (1956), published in Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association
- Someday, maybe, there will exist a well-informed, well considered and yet fervent public conviction that the most deadly of all possible sins is the mutilation of a child’s spirit; for such mutilation undercuts the life principle of trust, without which every human act, may it feel ever so good and seem ever so right is prone to perversion by destructive forms of conscientiousness.
- Young Man Luther : A Study in Psychoanalysis and History (1958), p. 70
- All world-images are apt to become corrupt when left to ecclesiastic bureaucracies. But this does not make the formation of world-images expendable. And I can only repeat that we deny the remnants of old-world images at our own risk, because we do not overcome them by declaring them — with all the righteousness of skepticism — something of a secret sin. They are not less powerful for being denied.
- Gandhi's Truth : On the Origins of Militant Nonviolence (1969), Prologue : Echoes of an Event, p. 39