After the Holocaust: The Book of Job, Primo Levi, and the by C. Fred Alford

By C. Fred Alford

The Holocaust marks a decisive second in glossy ache during which it turns into virtually most unlikely to discover which means or redemption within the adventure. during this learn, C. Fred Alford deals a brand new and considerate exam of the adventure of soreness. relocating from the booklet of activity, an account of significant discomfort in a God-drenched international, to the paintings of Primo Levi, who tried to discover which means within the Holocaust via absolute readability of perception, he concludes that neither approach works good in contemporary international. greater are the daily coping practices of a few survivors. Drawing on stories of survivors from the Fortunoff Video records, Alford additionally applies the paintings of Julia Kristeva and the psychoanalyst Donald Winnicot to his exam of an issue that has been and remains to be crucial to human adventure.

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Containing . . imprisoning – these are ideas which push him into imagery, 6 If one were going to take Levi’s definition seriously, he would, of course, be mistaken. Birds make nests, bees make honeycombs, and foxes and wolves have their dens. There is nothing unique about man as the container-making animal. Job, Transitional Space, and the Ruthless Use of the Object 39 because they attract and repel him equally. . Which does he want or fear more, to escape or remain contained? I think he could never say.

Winnicott 1965b, 93) The other reason Winnicott’s psychoanalytic theory is useful for thinking about religion is that his account of how we create what is already there lends itself to a nondogmatic belief in God. ” is not so central, not so important. Helpful as this aspect of Winnicott’s work is in thinking about God, it is not the part on which I am going to draw, at least not directly. Instead, I want to use Winnicott to address the question of why God torments Job so. Why does God treat Job with such utter ruthlessness?

Some One is in charge. The world is planned, plenitudinous, and beautiful – as sublime as God imagines. God has created a masterpiece that takes humans out of their little life and causes us to experience awe. The God of Job is not a jealous God. He is quite literally a careless God, possibly a lonely God, who needs to share His creation and the hard work behind it, but He is not a God who cares for humans. Fortunately, humans are aesthetic creatures, able to find satisfaction and comfort in the beauty and sublimity of God’s creation; however, in 2 Bloom (2005, 226–7) suggested that Leviathan foretells the tyranny of nature and, ultimately, death over man.

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