Literal and figurative readings of Genesis have been competing with each other for centuries. Hendel traces the book's varied impact and reception: in Galileo's view of the cosmos; Darwin's theory of evolution; the American south's arguments for slavery; the way Kafka composed literary parables; political questions of gender equality, etc. 288 pages, hardcover. Princeton University.
Format: Hardcover Number of Pages: 288 Vendor: Princeton University Press Publication Date: 2012
Dimensions: 7.50 X 4.50 (inches) ISBN: 069114012X ISBN-13: 9780691140124 Availability: In Stock
The Bible's first book is the focus of this contribution by Hendel, professor of Hebrew Bible and Jewish studies at the University of California, Berkeley, to Princeton's Lives of Great Religious Books series. The premise of a "biography" of Genesis is especially fitting. More than any other book, Genesis has a long history of both development and influence. Its life has been rich, and it's not dead yet. In a brief and eminently readable book, the author covers well-traveled ground in the first two chapters, discussing a diversity of sources in Genesis and its relationship to other ancient Near Eastern literature. Readers familiar with this basic information will find reward in reading on. Hendel shows a pendulum swing between realism and "figuralism" over the centuries, noting historical methods of interpretation from allegorical to literal, from ancient gnostics to modern fundamentalists, illustrated by specific examples. A book such as this cannot hope to cover everything, and is uneven in its attentions. Nevertheless, there is a little something for everyone here. (Nov.) 2012 Reed Business Information