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Active Imagination in 'Answer to Job'

By Leon Schlamm


In this chapter I will address one significant theme in Answer to Job given insufficient attention by Jung scholars to date: the role of active imagination in the creation of the narrative of this much criticized and misunderstood monograph. More specifically, I will not only argue that Jung’s reading of the biblical figures of Yahweh and Job was the product of active imagination, which led him to the ‘difficult and unpopular task of talking with God, rather than about him’, but also that the relationship between Job and Yahweh is, for Jung, a paradigmatic expression of this Jungian meditative practice of 'dreaming with open eyes'. Jung’s active imagination on the Job/Yahweh relationship (as well as his alchemical and kabbalistic observation that ‘whoever knows God has an effect on him’) triggered his perception of the ‘immensity of God’. And this perception, I will argue, provides the point of departure for Jung’s conscious, speculative, and hermeneutical engagement with other biblical figures addressed in the text (including Satan, Sophia, Christ, the Paraclete, the Virgin Mary), informed by his earlier writings, particularly Aion

Topics: BL
Publisher: Routledge
Year: 2008
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