A Serious Man

Timothy Stanley


A Serious Man cinematically deconstructs the life of a mid-twentieth century physics professor named Larry Gopnik. A Job-like theodicy ensues in which the paradoxes of quantum mechanics are haunted by questions of good and evil as well as the spectre of an un-named God. Although a number of commentators have suggested the film is based on the biblical book of Job, the following paper argues for its place within a longer history of commentary. To this end, the film provides a radical if not farcical interrogation of theodicy in the after-math of quantum mechanics.


Job; Serious Man; theodicy

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Bible and Critical Theory: ISSN 1832-3391