The Ernest Becker Foundation
|Mission and goals of the EBF|
|Written by Administrator|
|Thursday, 23 June 2005 13:14|
The Ernest Becker Foundation (EBF) seeks to illuminate how the unconscious denial of mortality profoundly influences human behavior, giving rise to acts of hate and violence as well as noble, altruistic striving. The goal of the Foundation is to foster a deeper understanding of our creative, heroic, often destructive quest to ensure immortality. To achieve this understanding, the EBF supports relevant dialogue, education, scholarship, and practical applications.
We are devoted to multidisciplinary inquiries into human behavior, with a particular focus on our brutality toward one another. Drawing on Becker's writings, especially The Birth and Death of Meaning (1971), his Pulitzer Prize-winning book, The Denial of Death (1973) and Escape From Evil (1975), and now also The Ernest Becker Reader, the EBF supports research and application at the interfaces of science, the humanities, human spiritual commitments and social action. The Foundation seeks to:
1. Cultivate and support scholarly work that explores and extends Becker's insights
2. Disseminate to the public and its institutions the understandings which emerge from the work
3. to apply these principles to the mitigation of violence and suffering.
To implement its mission, the EBF has provided since 1995 an ongoing public lecture series (some 6 lectures annually); one annual multi-day conference in Seattle (and recently a second one in New York City) focusing on specific aspects of violence and featuring lectures by a panel of experts; and financial support for scholarly research and writing in many fields including philosophy, psychology, and religious anthropology. The EBF sponsors workshops in three particular areas:
1. Development of skills in cultural, film, and literary criticism
2. Reduction of violence in the public schools
3. Development of skills in change management and leadership in a doctoral education program using Becker's principles for business leaders and school administrators
Through online resources, formerly isolated readers of many disciplines, professions and interests are able to learn from each other. Local chapters in the Seattle area, the New York metropolitan area, and Dublin, Ireland have already been organized as a result of such internet connections, with many additional chapters in various stages of formation.
Our organization is a 501(c)3 non-profit and relies on public support to keep our programs running. Please make a tax-deductible donation to the EBF today.
Becker on Otto Rank
"Rank goes so far as to say that the 'need for a truly religious ideology is inherent in human nature and its fulfillment is basic to any kind of social life.' Only in this way, says Rank, only by surrendering to the bigness of nature on the highest, least-fetishized level, can man conquer death. In other words, the true heroic validation or one's life, lies beyond sex, beyond the other, beyond the private religion-all these are makeshifts that pull man down or that hem him in, leaving him torn with ambiguity."
-From Denial of Death, Chapter 8
more on Otto Rank here