“I have landed the great whale; I mean ’Answer to Job. I can´t say I have fully digested this tour de force of the unconscious. It still goes on rumbling a bit, rather like an earthquake” (Letters 2, 17-18).
This is what C.G Jung wrote to Aniela Jaffé in a letter, sent from his tower in Bollingen 29th of May 1951. The book is indeed a mouthful and to help us understand and unpack this much-debated work of Jung, I have invited Paul Bishop again to the podcast.
Paul has written the most extensive commentary on the book, released in 2002 by Routledge as Answer to Job – A commentary.
In this conversation, Paul helps us to place this book in Jung’s overall psychological oeuvre and to understand the main arguments Jung raised in defense of Job. We discuss the reception of the work and Martin Buber’s critique of Jung as a Gnostic and his powerful reaction to this “accusation”. We’re also discussing how to understand Answer to Job in view of the publication of Jung’s Liber Novus.
We continue to return to the key questions examined in the Biblical Story of Job and commented on by Jung. How can the suffering and injustice in the world be reconciled with the image of God that was taught to us? If God is good, where does evil come from?
Sonu Shamdasani reminds us of the important arch one can find between the experiences of Jung as articulated in Liber Novus and the “theology” presented late in life in Answer to Job when writing that:
“…it was in the Answer to Job that the theology first articulated in Liber Novus – the themes of the progressive incarnation of the God, the necessity for “Christification,” and the replacement of the one-sided Christian God image with one that encompassed evil within in – found it’s definitive expression and elaboration.” (ix).
I hope you will enjoy this conversation. Please share your feedback after you listen in the comment section below.
Ps. I highly recommend you to seek out the latest publication by Paul Bishop, Nietzsche’s the Anti-Christ: A Critical Introduction and Guide (Edinburgh Critical Guides to Nietzsche) that was released by Edinburgh University Press earlier this year.