Original Research

Some psychoanalytical meanings of the skin in the book of Job

Pieter van der Zwan
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 38, No 1 | a1639 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v38i1.1639 | © 2017 Pieter van der Zwan | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 09 May 2016 | Published: 21 September 2017


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Abstract

Traditionally, there has been a tension between psychology and religion because of the Freudian critique of religion. This research intends to show that a deeper understanding of religion leading hopefully to an even deeper religiosity can be achieved by studying bodily features portrayed in a (religious) text from a psychoanalytic perspective. Just as any literary character can be ‘psychoanalysed’ to produce new perspectives on it and on the narrative as a whole, the personality of Job invites the postmodern reader to continue understanding this book on new levels. From this approach, it becomes clear that the protagonist struggles with boundaries and individuation because of his depressive tendencies experienced in issues with reality’s harsh touch, nakedness and distance.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: Just as any literary character can be ‘psychoanalysed’ to produce new perspectives on it and on the narrative as a whole, the personality of Job invites the postmodern reader to continue understanding this book on new levels. From this approach, it becomes clear that the protagonist struggles with boundaries and individuation because of his depressive tendencies experienced in issues with reality’s harsh touch, nakedness and distance.


Keywords

psychoanalytic; skin; the book of Job

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