Jonah: A Psycho-Religious Approach to the Prophet

Jonah: A Psycho-Religious Approach to the Prophet

Jonah: A Psycho-Religious Approach to the Prophet

Jonah: A Psycho-Religious Approach to the Prophet

Excerpt

The present edition is an in-depth reworking of our The Jonah Complex (Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1981). Anyone familiar with this former version of our study will find differences that go far beyond such matters as style, clarity, and substance. The different dimensions of the biblical book are more pointedly delineated. Using literary criticism and its synchronical and diachronical approach as the royal avenue to the understanding of the work, we again realized how hermeneutically determinative is the discernment of Jonah's literary genre. Even its date is thereby affected. Today we are convinced that the composition of Jonah is from the third century B.C.E.--a difference of some 200 years from the results of our former inquiry. Much is thus changed in the authorship, the audience, the setting in life, the environment, the problematic, even the message. In third-century Palestine, the issue is the Hellenization of the Near East, and the subjects of conversation are universalism and individual salvation. The nagging problem is the nonfulfillment of exilic prophecies for restoration. Internally, the situation is going from bad to worse, and externally the nations are far from humiliated. Many in Jerusalem find a semblance of comfort in the thought that Israel receives the exclusive attention of the living God, while the non- Jews are all but abandoned. The tale of Jonah comes in that context as a protest against such an arrogant isolationism. It is, at any rate, out of the question to see in the narrative something other than fiction. Jonah is a problem story. Once a historicist reading is dismissed, it becomes more evident how much Jonah is dependent upon a universal mythical fount. A synoptic view of the parallels accumulated by historians of religion is illuminating.

Ethnology and depth psychology have therefore something to contribute to an intelligent reading of Jonah. One readily thinks of a name like Carl G. Jung. We shall here speak of his . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.