4jobnotes - Commentary on The Book of Job With Job we move...

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Commentary on The Book of Job With Job we move in the context of the Bible from the value dualism of Genesis (light vs. dark, the righteous vs. the wicked, etc.) to the value neutrality (the “indifference” concerning opposite values) we encountered in the tragic worldview, as exemplified in Antigone and embodied in the figure Antigone. In Job the notion of the tragic revolves around the question why the divinity, God, conceived as rewarding the righteous and punishing the wicked (recall here the law of either/or as practiced by Creon in Antigone), not only deprives the “innocent” Job of his deserved reward, but burdens him with any number of afflictions. In other words, Job constitutes a challenge to a dualistic value theology, namely that goodness is rewarded with material prosperity and wickedness is punished with suffering and affliction. It is in confronting this challenge that Job becomes a figure of the tragic (comparable to Antigone). The way this manifests is in Job’s realization that God is not identical with the either/or of Judgment and Law, nor with moral conventions and established concepts. This realization comes about through a learning process, taking place mainly via a dialogue between Job and his friends, that involves the limits of human understanding, of a “knowing” that is tantamount to the either/or of logic. Put differently, in order to approach God in his transgression of the value dualism he ostensibly has put into place, Job must put a kind of “unknowing” between himself and God. This process of “unknowing” manifests itself in Job’s separating God from a two-value
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This note was uploaded on 04/08/2008 for the course MAP CONVWEST taught by Professor Ulfers during the Fall '07 term at NYU.

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4jobnotes - Commentary on The Book of Job With Job we move...

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