Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
:
Login
Tip: To see papers related to the one you are viewing…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

When there are articles or videos related to the one you are viewing, you will see a related papers icon next to the title, like this: RelatedPapers32Final3For example:

2015-11-06_09h28_31

Click on it and you will see a bibliographic list of papers that are related (including the current one). Related papers may be papers which are commentaries, responses to commentaries, erratum, and videos discussing the paper. Since they are not part of the original source material, they are added by PEP editorial staff, and may not be marked as such in every possible case.

 

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Alford, C.F. (2009). Job, Abjection, and the Ruthless God. Psychoanal. Rev., 96(3):431-459.

(2009). Psychoanalytic Review, 96(3):431-459

Job, Abjection, and the Ruthless God

C. Fred Alford

God does not frequently appear in the Old Testament, but neither is His appearance, what is called theophany, extraordinary. He speaks to Moses from a burning bush, and from Mount Sinai (Exodus, 3:1-6; 19:3-25; 24:9-11). God speaks to Elijah (or perhaps one should simply say that God is present to Elijah) in the silence that follows the wind, the earthquake, and the fire (1 Kings, 19:11-13). God makes several other appearances, but in none does He reveal his character as He does in His speeches from the whirlwind in the Book of Job (38-41). Since I am particularly interested in God's character, at least as it is revealed to us in those texts called Holy Scripture, the Book of Job is especially rewarding.

The usual psychoanalytic approach to religion has changed from an analysis of the defensive psychological function of religious belief, Freud's approach, to an analysis of the transference. For Freud (1912), particularly in Totem and Taboo, religion is an obsessional neurosis, an attempt to ward off guilt by repetition. The guilt stems from the primal horde's killing of the father, an event reproduced in every boy's oedipal struggle with his own father. Religion is the obsessive repetition of the ritualized reconciliation with an idealized patriarchal father god. “By rooting religion in the instinctual life of the child, Freud offered a biological hermeneutic of the sacred” (Jones, 1991, p. 2).

In his later The Future of an Illusion, (Freud, 1927) understood religion in both less reductive and less speculative terms. Religion reduces the terror of an uncaring nature by personalizing the natural order. Religion removes the fear of death by providing the illusion of immortality.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2021, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.