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The Book of "Genesis": A Biography (Lives of Great Religious Books)

Hendel, Ronald

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During its 2,500-year life, the book of Genesis has been the keystone to almost every important claim about reality, humanity, and God in Judaism and Christianity. And it continues to play a central role in debates about science, politics, and human rights. With clarity and skill, acclaimed biblical scholar Ronald Hendel provides a panoramic history of this iconic book, exploring its impact on Western religion, philosophy, science, politics, literature, and more.

Hendel traces how Genesis has shaped views of reality, and how changing views of reality have shaped interpretations of Genesis. Literal and figurative readings have long competed with each other. Hendel tells how Luther's criticisms of traditional figurative accounts of Genesis undermined the Catholic Church; how Galileo made the radical argument that the cosmology of Genesis wasn't scientific evidence; and how Spinoza made the equally radical argument that the scientific method should be applied to Genesis itself. Indeed, Hendel shows how many high points of Western thought and art have taken the form of encounters with Genesis--from Paul and Augustine to Darwin, Emily Dickinson, and Kafka.

From debates about slavery, gender, and sexuality to the struggles over creationism and evolution, Genesis has shaped our world and continues to do so today. This wide-ranging account tells the remarkable story of the life of Genesis like no other book.

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From the Back Cover:

"This is an illuminating account, broad in historical scope and rich in interdisciplinary perspective, of the varied life that the book of Genesis has lived through almost three millennia. The writing is lucid and engaging, and the story of the multifarious receptions of this seminal text is deeply instructive."--Robert Alter, author of The Art of Biblical Narrative and The Art of Biblical Poetry

"The book of Genesis has had one of the most intriguingly complex lives of all biblical texts. Superbly interweaving many different readings of Genesis, from the allegorical and scientific to the historical and literary, Ronald Hendel covers diverse moments of reception, such as Galileo's writings, Darwin's theory of evolution, the American Civil War, and Kafka's parables. Each chapter is a gem in its own right--and together they create a spellbinding narrative."--Ilana Pardes, author of Melville's Bibles

"Ron Hendel moves easily from classic scholarship on the life that Genesis lived in its biblical birth family to his personal favorites among the biblical book's innumerable afterlives: Rashi and Luther, of course, but also Rabelais, Kafka, and Naguib Mahfouz--a lively lot of lives, in short, with something for everyone."--Jack Miles, author of God: A Biography

"This brilliant book is not only about Genesis but also the history of biblical interpretation. It is extremely learned, but it wears its learning lightly. This is great stuff, and there is nothing else like it."--John J. Collins, Yale Divinity School

"This is a wonderful book. Hendel displays his gifts as a teacher, writing in a tone that readers will find accessible and entertaining."--David Carr, Union Theological Seminary

About the Author:

Ronald Hendel is the Norma and Sam Dabby Professor of Hebrew Bible and Jewish Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the editor in chief of "The Oxford Hebrew Bible" and the author of "Remembering Abraham" and "Reading Genesis".

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Book Description Princeton University Press, United States, 2012. Hardback. Book Condition: New. 196 x 122 mm. Language: English Brand New Book. During its 2,500-year life, the book of Genesis has been the keystone to almost every important claim about reality, humanity, and God in Judaism and Christianity. And it continues to play a central role in debates about science, politics, and human rights. With clarity and skill, acclaimed biblical scholar Ronald Hendel provides a panoramic history of this iconic book, exploring its impact on Western religion, philosophy, science, politics, literature, and more. Hendel traces how Genesis has shaped views of reality, and how changing views of reality have shaped interpretations of Genesis. Literal and figurative readings have long competed with each other. Hendel tells how Luther s criticisms of traditional figurative accounts of Genesis undermined the Catholic Church; how Galileo made the radical argument that the cosmology of Genesis wasn t scientific evidence; and how Spinoza made the equally radical argument that the scientific method should be applied to Genesis itself. Indeed, Hendel shows how many high points of Western thought and art have taken the form of encounters with Genesis - from Paul and Augustine to Darwin, Emily Dickinson, and Kafka. From debates about slavery, gender, and sexuality to the struggles over creationism and evolution, Genesis has shaped our world and continues to do so today. This wide-ranging account tells the remarkable story of the life of Genesis like no other book. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780691140124

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Book Description Princeton University Press, United States, 2012. Hardback. Book Condition: New. 196 x 122 mm. Language: English Brand New Book. During its 2,500-year life, the book of Genesis has been the keystone to almost every important claim about reality, humanity, and God in Judaism and Christianity. And it continues to play a central role in debates about science, politics, and human rights. With clarity and skill, acclaimed biblical scholar Ronald Hendel provides a panoramic history of this iconic book, exploring its impact on Western religion, philosophy, science, politics, literature, and more. Hendel traces how Genesis has shaped views of reality, and how changing views of reality have shaped interpretations of Genesis. Literal and figurative readings have long competed with each other. Hendel tells how Luther s criticisms of traditional figurative accounts of Genesis undermined the Catholic Church; how Galileo made the radical argument that the cosmology of Genesis wasn t scientific evidence; and how Spinoza made the equally radical argument that the scientific method should be applied to Genesis itself. Indeed, Hendel shows how many high points of Western thought and art have taken the form of encounters with Genesis - from Paul and Augustine to Darwin, Emily Dickinson, and Kafka. From debates about slavery, gender, and sexuality to the struggles over creationism and evolution, Genesis has shaped our world and continues to do so today. This wide-ranging account tells the remarkable story of the life of Genesis like no other book. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780691140124

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