By Dereck Daschke
This psychoanalytic research reads Jewish apocalypses as texts of mourning for the destruction of Jerusalem, arguing that the seers' studies of tense loss, then visions of therapeutic and restoration, all paintings to accomplish the apocalyptic therapy for historical J
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Extra info for City of Ruins: Mourning the Destruction of Jerusalem Through Jewish Apocalypse (Biblical Interpretation Series, 99)
Then man finds himself in a world which he does not recognize; and perhaps even more terrible, man finds himself to have a self he does not recognize. Z. Smith, “The Influence of Symbols on Social Change: A Place 24 introduction available a means of expressing anxieties, desires, and real pain in the wake of another, recent trauma that has therapeutic possibilities. In this way, apocalypses are not pathological per se, but like many creative products that tap into the unconscious workings of perceptive individuals, they both express an unresolved anxiety about the state of existence (of the people, of the culture, of God) and help relieve that anxiety.
The unifying feature of the Zion Apocalypses, the theme of loss and mourning, is in fact quite overt and distinctive in the depiction of the apocalypticians. Hence the three entry points into Biblical psychological criticism that Kille presents are evinced in an amplified and deeply integrated way in these texts and other apocalypses. But one might still ask, why Freud? 4 It has become an article of faith in modern thought that Freud’s originative views on women, the incest fantasy, the death instinct, the influence of childhood on adult behavior, and religion, not least of all, consign the entire psychoanalytic edifice to the dustbin of history or, at the very least, departments of cultural studies (whichever is worse to its critics, I suppose).
16 A brief passage from Michael Fishbane on prophetic/eschatological interpretation (pesher) of scripture in the Qumran library suggests the relationship between apocalyptic and psychoanalytic interpretation. He states, [T]he sectarians believed that the ‘hidden things’ constituted a new revelation of interpretations of the Law. . It was thus not the ‘revealed’ things alone which had authority over sectarian practice, but the ancient 13 See Ricoeur, Freud, 91–92. For a caution, however, against conflating texts’ authors with their depiction of the apocalyptic seers, see Martha Himmelfarb, Ascent to Heaven in Jewish and Christian Apocalypses (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993), 105–6.
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