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Peri, T. (2013). Applied Psychoanalysis in Biblical Interpretation. Int. J. Appl. Psychoanal. Stud., 10(4):349-360.

(2013). International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies, 10(4):349-360


Applied Psychoanalysis in Biblical Interpretation

Tuvia Peri

Applied psychoanalysis is the term used to denote the practice of applying psychoanalytic theoretical concepts to a variety of social and cultural domains. This work focuses on the application of psychoanalytic concepts to the understanding of great works of art or literature. Despite its inherent limitations stemming from the lack of an actual meeting with the patient, character analyses of heroes of dramatic plays or art works is part of the history of psychoanalysis. This work argues for the possible advantages of the use of psychoanalysis to the understanding of enigmatic behaviors of biblical central figures. Ancient rabbinic midrash is suggested as an auxiliary tool that help to uncover unconscious layers of the biblical text. This work uses the enigmatic story of the binding of Isaac and the exegetical midrash about it as an example for such a work. A clinical vignette demonstrates the potential utilization of this analytic interpretation for clinical work and for the teaching of complicated psychoanalytic concepts.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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