The first father : Abraham : the psychology and culture of a spiritual revolutionary /
Henry Hanoch Abramovitch.
Lanham, Md. : University Press of America, c1994.
192 p.
0819190276 (hard : alk. paper)
More Details
Lanham, Md. : University Press of America, c1994.
0819190276 (hard : alk. paper)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and indexes.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1994-10:
This psychological study of the story of Abraham in Gen. 11:26-25:12 draws upon the disciplines of biblical studies, cultural anthropology, and (especially) life-cycle psychology in order "to understand Abraham's life course and his spiritual odyssey in terms which make contemporary sense." Its subject is not the Abraham of history who may lie behind the biblical story, but the Abraham of the story, who is treated as a real person whose adult life course is revealed "fairly accurately" in the biblical narrative. Abramovitch analyzes that biblical narrative as one would a psychological case study, placing the various episodes within the interpretative context of D.J. Levinson's theory of adult development to make them personally relevant to Bible readers coping with comparable psychological circumstances. This perspective makes Abraham believably human. There are many other valuable, psychologically based insights here (e.g., treating the Sodom episode in terms of "post-traumatic stress disorder"). This book seeks to make the Abraham story accessible to readers who find guidance for living in the Bible. As such, it would be a useful addition to a pastor's library as a homiletical tool, and it should be especially valuable to counselors seeking to access the biblical vocabulary of certain clients, though it is flawed by typos. Professional. W. B. Barrick; formerly, Eastern Montana College
Review Quotes
...Abramovitch manages to illumine the psychic, social and personal cost to this revolutionary figure...
First the Father Abraham is a remarkable study. Abramovitch combines his biblical scholarship with carefully applied principles of cultural anthropology and of the psychology of the innovator. He does so with imagination, insight, devotion, and playfulness. Abraham emerges as a 'spiritual revolutionary' whose personal quest enriches us all.>>>
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Choice, October 1994
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Long Description
This book discusses the adult development of the Biblical Patriarch, Abraham, as a 'Spiritual Revolutionary' (based on Genesis 11-25). It begins with the image of the 'akeda,' the binding of Isaac in which a father is ready to murder his son, and asks what significance this disturbing scene holds for us today. Focusing on the Hebrew text, and with the help of life-cycle psychology and cultural anthropology, the author argues that the 'sacrifice of the most beloved son' must be viewed not as an isolated act, but against the background of his personal and spiritual development, using the Biblical text as a life history. Abramovitch applies several approaches: theory of adult development; Robert Jay Lifton's 'death and continuity of life'; themes of revolutionary continuity; psychology of birth order; name change, identity, and disguise; ethics of survival and post traumatic stress syndrome; and the nature of biography, life history, and life story. Abramovitch relates how Abraham was able to 'solve for all what he was unable to solve for himself alone.'
Table of Contents
Introductionp. 1
Abraham in Contextp. 19
Life With Fatherp. 37
Abram as Wandererp. 55
Abram the Founderp. 73
Abram Reborn as Abrahamp. 87
Crises of Growthp. 101
Akedap. 115
Final Reconciliationp. 125
Conclusion: The Psychology of Spiritual Revolutionp. 133
Epilogue: Abraham and the Paths of Peacep. 137
Epilogue: Psalm of the Jealous Godp. 139
Appendix: The Common Cultural-Ecological Background of the Patriarchsp. 141
Notesp. 149
Bibliographyp. 171
Indexp. 185
Biblical Indexp. 188
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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