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Lambert, K. (1977). Kahn, J. H. Job's illness. Loss, grief and integration. pp. i-xiii, 166. 1975. Oxford. Pergamon Press.. J. Anal. Psychol., 22(1):80-81.

(1977). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 22(1):80-81

Kahn, J. H. Job's illness. Loss, grief and integration. pp. i-xiii, 166. 1975. Oxford. Pergamon Press.

Review by:
Kenneth Lambert, M.A., F.B.Ps.S.

Dr Jack Kahn's book, a product of 25 years of study and meditation around his subject, has been recently written in collaboration with Hester Solomon. It could be felt as a challenge to those analytical psychologists who are inclined to accept Jung's ‘Answer to Job’ as a turning-point in the study of the cultural psycho-history of the West.

Kahn's aim differs however. It is to marshal the evidence that the Book of Job can be taken as the case history of a kind of Everyman who, consequent upon personal calamity and loss, falls into a psychiatric crisis combining depressive, paranoid and obsessional features. The disturbance transforms into a ‘creative illness’ of the sort described by Ellenberger. Job recovers within and through a kind of group therapy inaugurated by his comforters. With the three older ones, Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar, the mutual confrontation becomes acrimonious—rigidly deadlocked around a tight sin/calamity equation. This opens the way for the young Elihu to bring to the group a certain looseness and originality that foreshadows the new understanding of himself and Jahweh that Job will gain through the ‘whirlwind’ (A.V.) or ‘tempest’ (New English Version) p. 134. This enables Job's obsessional and moralistic cramp to give way to a more religious sense of the power and the beauty, the destructiveness and the creativity of Jahweh as the origin, among all else, of the behemoth or crocodile so poetically celebrated in Job 40, pp.

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