By Dan Mathewson
The ebook of activity services as literature of survival the place the most personality, activity, offers with the trauma of ache, makes an attempt to come back to phrases with a collapsed ethical and theological global, and finally re-connects the damaged items of his global right into a new ethical universe, and is the reason and comprises the trauma of his fresh reviews and renders his existence significant back. the secret's Job's demise imagery. in reality, with its depiction of demise within the prose story and its widespread discussions of loss of life within the poetic sections, activity could be the so much death-oriented booklet within the bible. particularly, activity, in his speeches, articulates his adventure of soreness because the adventure of demise. to assist comprehend this concentrate on demise in task we flip to the psychohistorian, Robert Lifton, who investigates the consequences at the human psyche of assorted worrying stories (wars, normal failures, etc). in response to Lifton, survivors of catastrophe frequently experience that their international has "collapsed" they usually interact in a fight to head on dwelling. a part of this fight consists of discovering that means in demise and finding death's position within the continuity of existence. Like many such survivors, Job's figuring out of dying is a flashpoint indicating his bewilderment (or "desymbolization") within the early parts of his speeches, after which, afterward, his arrival at what Lifton calls "resymbolization," the reconfiguration of an international that could account for catastrophe and render demise - and existence - significant again.
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Extra resources for Death And Survival in the Book of Job: Desymbolization And Traumatic Experience (Library of Hebrew Bible Old Testament Studies)
Whereas divine justice acts as a symbol system that grounds the meaning of death for Job's friends, when Job experiences disaster and senses that this symbol system collapses, death for Job loses its anchor. Job's struggle throughout the book will be to articulate a new symbol system in order that his experiences of suffering can be understood in a new and newly meaningful context. "5 My argument that the book of Job narrates the struggle of a character to articulate a new symbolic system following a disaster supports Lifton's claim that fictional literature is a place where the creative processes of articulating new types of symbol systems transpires.
According to Lifton, During these upheavals, symbols of longstanding authority are undermined, confronted, or shattered in ways that can produce powerful and painful collective experiences of death and rebirth. There is an outpouring of death imagery, publicly and privately, as well as feelings of separation, disintegration, and stasis (what 1 call "death equivalents") and a questioning of larger human connectedness or symbolic immortality. 108. Lifton, The Broken Connection, 17. 109. Ibid. The quote is copied, almost verbatim, in Robert Jay Lifton, The Life of the Self: Toward a New Psychology (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1976), 31.
Job employs seven in total (mo, U13, nn, ^COp, niD), including one word that means "miscarriage" (^23) and one that means "strangulation" (p]no). 127 The second sub-category of death words in Job are those that pertain to the grave or the realm of the dead. Included here are well-known words like "Op ("grave, to bury"), ena ("tomb"), 'ntW ("Sheol"), nntO ("Pit"), ]TT3R ("Abaddon"), and D^aKH ("Rephaim, shades, ghosts"), as well as two whose 127. In 14:8; 18:13; and 38:17, DIQ refers to the death of a tree stump, the firstborn of death, and the gates of death, respectively.