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Apocalyptic Melancholia And The Trauma Of History

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Chapter Summary

Biblical exegesis inherently requires a belief in the continuity between people of a current time and the subjects of Biblical narrative. Even if most of these texts did not achieve the level of embrace and influence as the Book of Ezekiel, the explosion of apocalyptic texts and movements at certain times and places and the persistence of the apocalyptic mentality through millennia attest to its enduring appeal as a model for comprehending the actions and motivations of others or inspiring one's own. This chapter argues that two of Freud's classic insights are irrefutable and offer a basis for the relevance of psychoanalysis for understanding apocalyptic literature. 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. The chapter also illustrates the connection between the psychoanalytic and the apocalyptic stances on the interpretation of reality.

Keywords: apocalyptic melancholia; Biblical narrative; Book of Ezekiel; Freud; Zion Apocalypses



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