First Father: Abraham: The Psychology and Culture of a Spiritual Revolutionary

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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.'

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
...Abramovitch manages to illumine the psychic, social and personal cost to this revolutionary figure...
Robert Jay Lifton
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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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780819190277
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group Inc
  • Publication date: 12/22/1993
  • Pages: 204
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

Henry Hanoch Abramovitch is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Behavioral Science, Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University.

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Table of Contents

Ch. 1 Introduction 1
Ch. 2 Abraham in Context 19
Ch. 3 Life With Father 37
Ch. 4 Abram as Wanderer 55
Ch. 5 Abram the Founder 73
Ch. 6 Abram Reborn as Abraham 87
Ch. 7 Crises of Growth 101
Ch. 8 Akeda 115
Ch. 9 Final Reconciliation 125
Ch. 10 Conclusion: The Psychology of Spiritual Revolution 133
Epilogue: Abraham and the Paths of Peace 137
Epilogue: Psalm of the Jealous God 139
Appendix: The Common Cultural-Ecological Background of the Patriarchs 141
Notes 149
Bibliography 171
Index 185
Biblical Index 188
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