A Serious Man

Bible and Critical Theory 9 (1):27-37 (2013)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
The film A Serious Man cinematically deconstructs the life of a mid-twentieth century, mid-western American physics professor named Larry Gopnik. As it happens, Larry is up for tenure with a wife who is about to leave him, an unemployed brother who sleeps on his couch, and two self-obsessed teenage children. The film presents a Job-like theodicy in which the mysteries of quantum physics are haunted both by questions of good and evil as well as the spectre of an un-named God, reverently referred to as Hashem. The following paper examines the broader set of philosophical, theological and ethical concerns which arise from the film’s themes, using it to illustrate those concerns. Just as Newtonian physics underwrote Kant’s evocation of the image of starry skies above and moral law within, quantum physics underwrites a new set of ethical anxieties, which the film narrates as a key facet of contemporary western culture’s postmodern re-enchantment. Although some, such as Slavoj Zizek, see this as a positively charged opportunity to rethink metaphysics and ethics, the film leaves the audience with more sinister conclusions.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
Revision history
Archival date: 2017-01-29
View upload history
References found in this work BETA
The Monstrosity of Christ: Paradox or Dialectic?ŽI.žek, Slavoj & Milbank, John

View all 9 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Added to PP index

Total views
151 ( #21,739 of 43,787 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
42 ( #17,527 of 43,787 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.