For the Love of God: The Bible as an Open Book
Rutgers University Press, 2007 - 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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Preface he present book continues the labor and pleasure of wrestling with the Jewish Bible and Jewish tradition, a task I began in 1985. The story of that beginning is told in The Nakedness of the Fathers: Biblical Visions and ...
... Father God are responsible for much human suffering, some of which might be ameliorated if we had equal ac- cess to his repressed or submerged female self, whose name in Kabbala, the tradition of Jewish mysticism, is the Shekhinah.
At any rate, it is satisfying to me as a Jew. For Jewish tradition tells us that “there is always another interpretation.” I write in the hope that my readers will feel free to engage in their own interpretive acts.
Here is a sentence I should like to see inscribed on the forehead of every literalist and fundamentalist on earth—Jewish, Christian, Muslim—everyone who has the arrogance to believe that we human beings, specks of dust that we are in ...
I write about the Bible as a woman, a Jew, and a poet. I write about the Hebrew Bible because it is my heritage. The men and women in it are my mothers and fathers. Anywhere I look, it offers a mirror of myself.