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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It is no accident that Jewish, Christian, Sufi and Hindu mystics all speak of God as the beloved and that everyone in love sees the beloved's face as holy. If elsewhere we must divide the “sacred” from the “secular,” that division is ...
The woman speaks more lines of the dialogue, including the opening and the closing. She is also more aggressive, more introspective, and more philosophical than her lover. Hers is the quest for the beloved in the city streets, ...
... who speak antiphonally with the Shulamite in 5.8–10ff. and 6.1–2, in a way that suggests young women socializing independent of male control. Two brief moments imply possible limits to the woman's freedom of erotic choice.
Numerous commentators have mentioned that it is sometimes difficult to tell who is speaking. The line between sleeping, waking, and fantasy experience is also at times unclear, as is the line between past, present, and future.
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