Ernie Kurtz RIP

‘Ernest Kurtz, who made landmark contributions to the study of addiction recovery, died January 19, 2015 of pancreatic cancer. Following publication of Not-God: A History of Alcoholics Anonymous in 1979, Kurtz focused his studies on the growing varieties of recovery experience, the healing of shame and guilt, and the role of spirituality in addiction recovery.

EK Photo 2008

see William White’s personal tribute here –


  1. feelingmywaybackintolife · February 4, 2015

    Reblogged this on feelingmywaybackintolife and commented:
    Wow! A jewel from the internet. This interview with Ernest Kurtz on guilt and shame and AA. Worth every second of your time. Wow…. Incredible. Blown right out of my mind. It makes me sing, cry, breath, laugh, expand. Wow. Happy. On the hole in the soul. On feeling ‘not good enough’ on a world in which we live where the 7 sins are made into preferable states of being. Wow! Happy that I quit and happy that others who walked the path before me are willing to give, share their wisdom.

    Thank you Alcoholics Guide to Alcoholism for bringing this on my path. 🙂

    • alcoholicsguide · February 4, 2015

      thank you for your comments. There are a few more Ernie Kurtz videos on You Tube too being interviewed by William White who is also a great historian of recovery movements and an excellent commentator on recovery per se. I am so glad this has inspired you as he has constantly inspired me in my recovery. I love how he breaks 12 step recovery into being first of all about dealing with guilt and then secondly about being ongoing work around shame. He even breaks the 12 steps into two groups on this observation. “Not God” is a great read too but as you say he really nails it in his observation that recovery is about living a life distinct from a life built on the 7 sins. Hence a spiritual recovery – brilliant!

      • feelingmywaybackintolife · February 4, 2015

        He’s brilliant! Thank you so much for bringing him to my attention. I’ve put his books on my goodreads to read list :-).

      • alcoholicsguide · February 4, 2015

        excellent, glad to have brought him to your attention 🙂

  2. alcoholicsguide · February 5, 2015

    Ernie Kurtz also has some great views in this video on spirituality

  3. toptoucan · February 12, 2015

    Thank you for posting this alcoholicsguide and feelings for reposting – absolutely inspirational!

  4. alcoholicsguide · February 18, 2015

    thank you for viewing – he and William L White are very important researchers into recovery – in the past, now, and in relation to present and future directions in recovery and recovery movements. If it wasn’t for these two and their co-authors and researchers we would know much less about the recovery process. They have both instilled much hope.

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