The body plays an important role in the book of Job – as do animals. According to
psychoanalytical specifically object-relations theory, a subjective body image was partly
constructed through the internalisation of external stimuli from significant others who
mirrored the subject through their feedback or through their own bodies, which served as an
ideal or critique to the subject. Amongst the external stimuli, animals constitute such significant
others. Animals could therefore have impacted Job’s subjective body image, particularly as
their bodies were described in detail by God as a response to Job’s complaints and searching.
CONTRIBUTION : Two theoretical and interrelated problems were acknowledged although they
cannot be satisfactorily solved: the cultural aspect of the body image and the relationship to animals.
Special Collection: Theology, Economy and Environment: Cultural & Biotic Influences on Religious Communities, sub-edited by
Jerry Pillay (University of Pretoria).