For the Love of God: The Bible as an Open Book
Rutgers University Press, 2009 - 164 páginas
Choice Outstanding Academic Title of 2008
Alicia Ostriker named to Moment Magazine's list of Ten Great Jewish Poets, 2011Quoting King Solomon's famous prayer to God at the Temple in Jerusalem, "Behold, the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded," Alicia Suskin Ostriker posits a God who cannot be contained by dogma and doctrine. Troubled by the way the Bible has become identified in our culture with a monolithic authoritarianism, Ostriker focuses instead on the extraordinary variability of Biblical writing.
For the Love of God is a provocative and inspiring re-interpretation of six essential Biblical texts: The Song of Songs, the Book of Ruth, Psalms, Ecclesiastes, Jonah, and Job. In prose that is personal and probing, analytically acute and compellingly readable, Ostriker sees these writings as "counter-texts," deviating from convention yet deepening and enriching the Bible, our images of God, and our own potential spiritual lives. Attempting to understand "some of the wildest, strangest, most splendid writing in Western tradition," she shows how the Bible embraces sexuality and skepticism, boundary crossing and challenges to authority, how it illuminates the human psyche and mirrors our own violent times, and how it asks us to make difficult choices in the quest for justice.
For better or worse, our society is wedded to the Bible. But according to Talmud, "There is always another interpretation." Ostriker demonstrates that the Bible, unlike its reputation, offers a plenitude of surprises.
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that God shares their opinions. How do they know? In America in the twenty-first century, as a rule, they know because they “read the Bible.” But how much of the Bible do they read? Are they aware that the same Good Book that sanctions ...
A Father God, certainly, but also hints, here and there, of the Divine Mother who was edited out of historical memory. “The past is not dead,” William Faulkner remarked in his Nobel Prize speech; “it is not even past.
We need this sort of wisdom in our rulers; we need a God who can encourage fewer crusades, jihads, occupations, massacres, and assassinations, and more treaties; a God whose primary metaphors are not hierarchical, imperialistic, ...
Readers coming to the Song of Songs for the first time commonly express astonishment at its apparently sacrilegious presence in scripture; God is never mentioned once in it; yet the great rabbi Akiba declared the Song “a holy of holies.
In another kind of contrast, in Ecclesiastes, a personal relationship with God is represented as manifestly impossible, and the author sounds like something of a crypto-Buddhist. Finally, when we reach the Book of Job, where anything ...