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Journal of Religion and Health

, Volume 51, Issue 3, pp 701–708 | Cite as

Good God?!? Lamentations as a Model for Mourning the Loss of the Good God

  • Tiffany Houck-Loomis
Original Paper

Abstract

This article will address the devastating psychological and social effects due to the loss of one’s primary love-object, namely God in the case of faith communities and religious individuals. By using Melanie Klein’s Object Relations Theory (Klein in Envy and gratitude and other works 1946/1963. The Free Press, New York, 1975a) as a way to enter the text of Lamentations, I will articulate an alternative reading that can serve as a model for Pastors and Educators to use when walking with individuals and communities through unspeakable losses. I will argue that Lamentations may be used as a tool for naming confounding depression and anxiety that stems from a damaged introjected object (one’s personal God). This tool may provide individuals and communities a framework for placing anger and contempt upon God in order to re-assimilate this loved yet hated object, eventually leading toward healing and restoration of the self.

Keywords

Melanie Klein Object relations theory Mourning Loss Introjection Projection Splitting Evil Trauma Exile Lamentations Community Healing 

References

  1. Cooper, A. (2001). The message of lamentations. Journal of the Ancient Near Eastern Society, 28, 1–18.Google Scholar
  2. Hillers, D. R. (1992). Lamentations, The Anchor Bible (Vol. 7A). New York: Double Day.Google Scholar
  3. Klein, M. (1975a). Envy and gratitude and other works 1946–1963. New York: The Free Press.Google Scholar
  4. Klein, M. (1975b). Love, guilt and reparation and other works 1921–1945. New York: The Free Press.Google Scholar
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  6. Segal, H. (1979). Klein. London: The Harvester Press Ltd.Google Scholar
  7. Westermann, C. (1994). Lamentations: Issues and interpretation. Minneapolis: Fortress Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Union Theological SeminaryNew YorkUSA

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