Labor of Job The Biblical Text as a Parable of Human Labor

ISBN-10: 0822346346

ISBN-13: 9780822346340

Edition: 2009

Authors: Antonio Negri, Matteo Mandarini, Michael Hardt, Roland Boer

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The Labor of Jobis an unorthodox interpretation of a canonical text of Judeo-Christian thought by the renowned Marxist political philosopher Antonio Negri. In the Old Testament book of Job, the pious Job is made to suffer for no apparent reason. The heart of the story is Job's quest to understand why he must bear, and why God would allow, such misery. In conventional readings, the story is an affirmation of divine transcendence. When God finally speaks to Job, it is to assert his sovereignty and establish that it is not Job's place to question what he, God, allows. In Negri's materialist reading, Job does not recognize God's transcendence. He denies it, and in so doing becomes a co-creator of himself and the world.The Labor of Jobwas first published in Italy in 1990. Negri began writing it in the early 1980s, while he was a political prisoner in Italy, and it was the first book he completed during his exile in France (198397). As he writes in the preface, understanding suffering was for him in the early 1980s "an essential element of resistance. . . . It was the problem of liberation, in prison and in exile, from within the absoluteness of Power." Negri presents a Marxist interpretation of Job's story. He describes it as a parable of human labour, one that illustrates the impossibility of systems of measure, whether of divine justice (in Job's case) or the value of labour (in the case of late-twentieth-century Marxism). In the foreword, Michael Hardt elaborates on this interpretation. In his commentary, Roland Boer considers Negri's reading of the book of Job in relation to the Bible and biblical exegesis.The Labor of Jobprovides an intriguing and accessible entry into the thought of one of today's most important political philosophers.
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Book details

List price: $14.99
Copyright year: 2009
Publisher: Duke University Press
Publication date: 11/24/2009
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 168
Size: 6.00" wide x 8.25" long x 0.25" tall
Weight: 0.484
Language: English

Roland Boer, Ph.D. (1993) in Biblical Studies, McGill University, is Research Fellow at the University of Newcastle, Australia. He has published extensively in theology, Marxism, political theory, postcolonialism, cultural studies and literary theory. His most recent works are Criticism of Heaven (2007), Symposia (2007), Political Myth (2009) and Political Grace (2009).

Foreword: Creation beyond Measure
Preface to the 2002 Edition
The Difference of Job
Of the Absoluteness of the Contingent
The Adversary and the Avenger
The Chaos of Being
The Dispositif of the Messiah
The Constitution of Power
Ethics as Creation
Commentary: Negri, Job, and the Bible
Bibliographical Appendix
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