Introduction: `The angel of history': The past and the present are entwined like lovers in an embrace'
This volume presents a multi-faceted, interdisciplinary and international approach by authors from six countries and three continents to the theme of Psychoanalysis, History and the Father and the ways in which each of these impacts on the other with the explicit aim of furthering individual and collective growth and healing. As each is seen in the alive ¯uidity of its changing reality, a pluralistic approach is required. Unavoidably, this creates certain overlaps, yet within the context of the individual text, each contributes to a unique perspective and thus ful®ls an important function. Taken together as a whole, these individual voices of the different authors collectively are `looking back towards the future', as it were, in the way the philosopher Walter Benjamin spoke of `the angel of history':
His face is turned towards the past. [. . .] The angel would like to stay, awaken the dead, and make whole what has been smashed. But a storm is blowing from Paradise, it has got caught in his wings [. . .] that the angel can no longer close them. The storm irresistibly propels him into the future to which his back is turned.