sacrifice retold

for reference, cultural references to those biblical stories that stick in one’s craw, namely Abraham (and Isaac) and Job

in philosophy
Søren Kierkegaard: Fear and Trembling — Abraham as more than the knight of infinite resignation, as the knight of faith, facing down the absurd, and furthermore willing it

in philosophy / philology
Crispin Sartwell: End of Story: Toward an Annihilation of Language and History — references Job and Abraham (à la Kierkegaard) as examples of loss of telos / loss of plot / loss of a “sense of narrative coherence” (18)

in sociology
Stanley Milgram: Obedience to Authority — cites the Abraham story as an example of the age-old “dilemma” of obedience (preface)

in song
Bob Dylan: “Highway 61 Revisited” — “God said to Abraham, ‘Kill me a son.’ Abe said, ‘Man, you must be puttin’ me on.'”

in fiction
Neil Simon: God’s Favorite — Job modernized and made comical

in philosophy / anthropology
René Girard: Job the Victim of his People — Job as scapegoat (not yet read)

in psychology
C.G. Jung: Answer to Job and Edward F. Edinger: Transformation of the God-Image: An Elucidation of Jung’s Answer to Job (not yet read)

other disturbing lessons:
Cain and Abel (in fiction: East of Eden by John Steinbeck)

David and Bathsheba and Uriah (in fiction: God Knows by Joseph Heller)

the prodigal son (As a child I objected to the prodigal son getting a feast while the “good” son gets no reward. As an adult I’m frustrated that my brain is stuck believing “prodigal” means someone who has gone away and now returned. I always have to concentrate to land on the right definition.)

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