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God, Biblical Stories and Psychoanalytic Understanding

Rainer Kessler and Patrick Vandermeersch

In every process of reading there is interaction between text and reader. Religious texts speak about God; readers of religious texts have their images of God. Thus, in the process of reading religious texts we have a triangle with text, reader and God at the extreme points. But how are these points connected? The articles in the book discuss this question. They focus on biblical texts, and they make use of different psychoanalytic approaches. The book deals with the biblical subjects of the «bloody bridegroom» in Ex 4, the Oedipus complex in the book of Esther, the Saul-David story from a Kleinian perspective, and the creation of woman. This work also examines the question of interiorization and the images of God. The contributors are scholars from several European countries and from widely differing scholarly and denominational backgrounds, who discussed their papers in the course of a European SOCRATES intensive program.
Contents: P. Vandermeersch: Psychoanalytic Interpretations of Religious Texts. Some Basics – R. Kessler: Psychoanalysis as a Hermeneutical Tool: the Example of Ex 4:24-26 – H. Raguse: The Oedipus Complex in the Book of Esther – J. Carlander: The Saul-David-Story from a Kleinian Perspective – P. E. Jongsma-Tieleman: The Creation of Eve and the Ambivalence Between the Sexes – J. Ribera/E. Giralt: The Woman Figure in the Narrations of the Creation According to Rabbinical Literature – E. Cortès: The Woman in Midrash Esther Rabba – C. Thierfelder: Object Relations Theory and the Representation of God. The Contribution of Ana-Maria Rizzuto – E. Noort: «Vengeance is Mine». Some Remarks on Concepts of Divine Vengeance and Wrath in the Hebrew Bible – G. Luttikhuizen: Gnostic Hermeneutics – P. Vandermeersch: Looking Back at Sodom. Psychoanalysis and Diachronic Reading.