Why Job Troubles us
In this short talk, I would like to compare the biblical character of Job to that of Mendel Singer, the main protagonist of Joseph Roth’s Job. The latter book provides us with a modern commentary on the biblical figure, and raises a question that is different from the set of questions evoked by Job’s friends and which have been the object of most commentaries (are Job’s afflictions a punishment for his hidden sins?). Roth’s Job examines how Job understands his own fate, notably around the notion of guilt, as the emotion which reflects personal responsibility for harm inflicted on others, whether that responsibility is real or imagined.
Eva Illouz is Professor of Anthropolgy and Sociology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She received her Ph.D in 1991 from the University of Pennsylvania. She was visiting professor at Northwestern University, Princeton University, at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris and fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. Her main research interests include the role of culture in social action, the history of emotional life and the impact of knowledge systems on emotions. Among her book publications are Consuming the Romantic Utopia: Love and Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism (1997); Cold Intimacies: The Making of Emotional Capitalism (2007); Saving the Modern Soul: Therapy, Emotions, and the Culture of Self-Help (2008); Warum Liebe weh tut: Eine soziologische Erklärung (2011).