Disapperance Of God, The

Overview

Friedman probes a chain of mysteries that concern the presence or absence of God, including the connection between Nietzsche and Dostoevsky who each independently developed the idea of the death of God.

At the beginning of the Old Testament, God manifests himself through miracles and direct intervention, but by the Bible's end, he has withdrawn from sight, leaving humans on their own. In this thought-provoking book, Bible scholar Friedman probes a chain of ...

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Overview

Friedman probes a chain of mysteries that concern the presence or absence of God, including the connection between Nietzsche and Dostoevsky who each independently developed the idea of the death of God.

At the beginning of the Old Testament, God manifests himself through miracles and direct intervention, but by the Bible's end, he has withdrawn from sight, leaving humans on their own. In this thought-provoking book, Bible scholar Friedman probes a chain of mysteries, from the diminishing visible presence of God in the Bible, to the Divine's disappearance in Nietzsche's famous "God is dead" declaration, to the quest for a hidden God in modern physics. The result is a bold and stunning work that dissects our contemporary moral ambivalence, identifying it as the spiritual crisis it is. 335pp.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Arguing that "the disappearance or death of God is a substantial part of this century's philosophical and literary legacy," Friedman (Hebrew, comparative literature, Univ. of California, San Diego) probes what he calls three mysteries: the gradual disappearance of God in the Hebrew scriptures, a topic recently considered by Jack Miles in his God: A Biography (LJ 3/1/95), a book Friedman refers to approvingly; Nietzsche's dictum, "God is dead," relating it admirably to the works of Dostoyevsky and the problem of ethics without God; and the mysticism of the Kabbalah and the Big Bang theory. Avoiding the type of Zen and... approach that degrades both religion and science, Friedman offers a credible discussion of contemporary physics and the return of the divine, doing no disservice to either but actually enhancing the relationship between them. For general readers as well as specialists.Augustine J. Curley, Newark Abbey, N.J.
Steve Schroeder
"The Disappearance of God", at once scholarly and popularly accessible, is packed with wonderful insights into scriptural narrative, Nietzsche, Dostoevsky, and cabala. Friedman notes that the narrative structure of Hebrew Scripture is marked by a disappearance of God--God's hiding of God's face to see what our end will be--that corresponds to an increasingly important role for human beings, a "coming of age" in Bonhoeffer's apt and often cited phrase. Each of the three parts of the book addresses a mystery related to the title (the disappearance of God in Hebrew Scripture, the death of God and madness in Nietzsche, and the relationship of religion to science), but it is the one mystery of the title, the disappearance of God, that binds the whole together. The disappearance is akin to what Thomas Sheehan earlier referred to as "the absolute absence of God," and it points Friedman toward a concluding moral reflection in which he maintains (as does cabala) that the structure of morality inheres in the structure of the universe. God's absolute absence is a paradoxical revelation: "There is some likelihood that the universe is the hidden face of God."
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At the beginning of the Old Testament, God manifests himself through miracles and direct intervention, but by the Bible's end, he has withdrawn from sight, leaving humans on their own. In this thought-provoking book, Bible scholar Friedman probes a chain of mysteries, from the diminishing visible presence of God in the Bible, to the Divine's disappearance in Nietzsche's famous "God is dead" declaration, to the quest for a hidden God in modern physics. The result is a bold and stunning work that dissects our contemporary moral ambivalence, identifying it as the spiritual crisis it is.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316294348
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Publication date: 7/16/2004
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 348
  • Sales rank: 834,656
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Table of Contents

Author's Note
Ch. 1 The Hidden Face of God 7
Ch. 2 The Divine-Human Balance 30
Ch. 3 Historians and Poets 60
Ch. 4 The God of History 77
Ch. 5 The Struggle with God 96
Ch. 6 The Legacy of the Age 118
Ch. 7 Nietzsche at Turin 143
Ch. 8 The "Death" of God 172
Ch. 9 The Legacy of the Age: The Twentieth Century 198
Ch. 10 Big Bang and Kabbalah 219
Ch. 11 Religion and Science 238
Ch. 12 Divine-Human Reunion 254
Notes 285
Works Cited 311
Acknowledgments 319
Index 323
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