The Song of Songs is a classical work of ancient literature that continues to be read, studied and prayed the world over. Essentially it is a collection of sensual love poems. Its inclusion in the holy scriptures can be surprising and even shocking to some. So what is the depth and meaning behind this ancient masterpiece? How can we read it and understand it today? Dianne Bergant offers a spiritual reading of these love poems of Scriptures from a literal perspective. She leads the reader to see how its issues and concerns are often our own. She emphasizes the beauty and goodness of love and how the fruits of this love lead to a modern, wholesome spirituality that respects others and works for their good. Moreover, Bergant shows how the Song of Songs is particularly sensitive to issues of race or ethnic origin, class and gender. It likewise respects ecology recognizing that we are part of a larger community.
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Among all of the books of the First Testament, the Song of Songs is one of the most intriguing. On the one hand, its unabashed sensuality has captured the imagination and has endeared it to those who appreciate passionate human love. On the other hand, more demure readers have frequently been chagrined by their own fascination with its erotic character and have cloaked their interest under the guise of metaphorical reading. Both interpretations of the Song of Songs have been endorsed. Down through the ages, both Jewish and Christian interpreters have delighted in the exquisite imagery of the book?s songs, but they have also frequently reverted to allegory in their interpretations. This commentary views the Song as a collection of love poems and carefully examines features of Hebrew poetry in order to uncover the delicacy of their expression. It is unique not only in the attention that it gives to the obvious feminine perspective of the poems but in their ecosensitive character. Although it is a tribute to mutual love, the principal frame of reference is the amorous disposition of the woman. Her words open and close the Song and her voice is dominant throughout. The imagery that the lovers use is drawn from nature. Whether it is the woman in awe of the strength and splendor of her lover or the man glorifying her physical charms, the descriptions all call on elements from the natural world to characterize the feature being described. Whatever they experience or know or even desire is somehow rooted in the natural world. Chapters are ?Superscription,? ?Mutual Yearning (1:2-2:7),? ?An Opportunity Lost, Then Found (2:8-3:5),? ?Ravished By Beauty (3:6-5:1),? ?One of a Kind (5:2-6:3),? ?The Admiration of a Lover (6:4-8:4),? and ?Love Affirmed (8:5-8:14).??The Song of Songs is strongly recommended as an invaluable, serious, college-level analysis for scholars of Biblical Studies in general and Hebrew narrative and poetry in particular.? The BookwatchAbout the Author:
Sr. Dianne Bergant is a professor of Old Testament studies at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. The general editor of The Collegeville Bible Commentary (Old Testament), she was editor of The Bible Today from 1986-1990. Her areas of interest include biblical interpretation, biblical spirituality, and social issues such as feminism, ecology , and peace. She is the author of The World is a Prayerful Place.
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Book Description New City Press, 1998. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M1565481003
Book Description New City Press, 1998. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P111565481003