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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The story of that beginning is told in The Nakedness of the Fathers: Biblical Visions and Revisions, a combination of prose and poetry, midrash and autobiography, re-imagining biblical stories from Genesis to Job and beyond.
The story of Jonah, read on the Day of Atonement, is of profound psychological and political import, today as well as in ancient times. My chapter on Job, the biblical text that originally impelled me on this journey, is a fresh attempt ...
Grateful acknowledgment is made to the following for permission to reprint: The lines by Alta beginning “I felt the joy” are from “Putting It All Down in Black & White,” from The Shameless Hussy: Selected Stories, Essays and Poems ...
A charming corollary is the Hassidic story of the student who hid under his rabbi's bed and heard him chatting and laughing while making love with his wife. However exceptional the tale, there is something quintessentially Jewish in its ...
Whereas the Hebrew Bible concerns itself overwhelmingly with obedience and the New Testament responds by concerning itself with repentance and salvation, the Song inscribes an alternative story of voluntary love and pleasure.