Abstract

The book of Job is cited with frequency within discourse on the Holocaust because of its protagonist's status as an archetypal figure of undeserved suffering. This article suggests that it may be further viewed as a resource in this context in a differing way: as a polyphonic text that acts as a disruptive force against finalized theological conceptualizations of unwarranted suffering. This urge to resist theodicy is one that has been often articulated by respondents to the Holocaust wishing to avoid the event's absorption into broader religious narratives. Yet, in certain instances, this is counter-voiced by a powerful drift toward theological resolution that renders appeals of this sort to "antitheodicy" and fragmentation little more than rhetoric. To consider these dynamics, two post-Holocaust receptions of the book of Job will be examined—those of David Blumenthal and Irving Greenberg. Job, it will be proposed, when understood as an internally dissonant text that queries its own utilization by theologians, can as act as a subversive force within Holocaust memory that pushes against finalization, forgetfulness, and religious "acceptance" of this radically dark element of modern history.

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