God and Sex: What the Bible Really Says [NOOK Book]

Overview

For several decades, Michael Coogan's introductory course on the Old Testament has been a perennial favorite among students at Harvard University. In God and Sex, Coogan examines one of the most controversial aspects of the Hebrew Scripture: What the Old Testament really says about sex, and how contemporary understanding of those writings is frequently misunderstood or misrepresented. In the engaging and witty voice generations of students have appreciated, Coogan explores the language and social world of the ...
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God and Sex: What the Bible Really Says

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Overview

For several decades, Michael Coogan's introductory course on the Old Testament has been a perennial favorite among students at Harvard University. In God and Sex, Coogan examines one of the most controversial aspects of the Hebrew Scripture: What the Old Testament really says about sex, and how contemporary understanding of those writings is frequently misunderstood or misrepresented. In the engaging and witty voice generations of students have appreciated, Coogan explores the language and social world of the Bible, showing how much innuendo and euphemism is at play, and illuminating the sexuality of biblical figures as well as God. By doing so, Coogan reveals the immense gap between popular use of Scripture and its original context. God and Sex is certain to provoke, entertain, and enlighten readers.



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Editorial Reviews

Booklist

"Revered by the devout as a revelation of God's will, the Bible vexes many progressive thinkers as an obstacle to gender equality and sexual liberation. Coogan has written this book to help such progressives get past their vexations ... A critique as radical as this one will astonish conservatives, who will wonder why those who accept it would even bother with the Bible. But it will embolden social activists glad to weaken restraints rooted in traditional understandings of scripture.

Expect media attention and controversy."

Bart D. Ehrman
"Michael Coogan is one of the leading Hebrew Bible scholars in America. His new book on sexuality in the Bible the sexuality of men, women, and God! promises to be as scintillating as it is informative. Here a seasoned interpreter of Scripture shows how ancient authors viewed the world of sexuality, and how these ancient reflections can influence modern thinking, as "people of the book" reflect on the pressing issues of sex and gender in our own day, issues ranging from adultery and premarital sex to same-sex relations and heterosexual sex within marriage."
Thomas Cahill
"Michael Coogan is an extraordinary writer on the culture of the Bible and the ancient Near East. Though acknowledged far and wide as an impeccable scholar, he always manages to make his scholarship accessible to the general reader and to find just the right point of entry into a subject so that the reader may be lured onward. Furthermore, his clarity of exposition inevitably exposes the relevance of his subject to our world. A book on sex in the Bible is the perfect subject to display Coogan's unusual abilities. It's hard to imagine readers not being interested in the subject of sex and God, especially in the hands of a writer as skillful as Coogan."
From the Publisher
"Michael Coogan is one of the leading Hebrew Bible scholars in America. His new book on sexuality in the Bible (the sexuality of men, women, and God!) promises to be as scintillating as it is informative. Here a seasoned interpreter of Scripture shows how ancient authors viewed the world of sexuality, and how these ancient reflections can influence modern thinking, as "people of the book" reflect on the pressing issues of sex and gender in our own day, issues ranging from adultery and premarital sex to same-sex relations and heterosexual sex within marriage."—Bart D. Ehrman, New York Times bestselling author of Misquoting Jesus

"Readers looking for an unbiased appraisal of what the Bible says about premarital sex, homosexuality, and polygamy can trust Coogan, a biblical scholar of the highest order. Concise, clear, and accessible to general readers, this book covers all the usual topics plus a few that may surprise ... Readers may be surprised to find a convincing discussion of evidence for God's own (sometimes unflattering) sexuality, in metaphor if not in fact. Coogan's reminder at the book's end that modern application of biblical texts requires interpretation and nuance is a welcome corrective to selective, literalist use."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Revered by the devout as a revelation of God's will, the Bible vexes many progressive thinkers as an obstacle to gender equality and sexual liberation. Coogan has written this book to help such progressives get past their vexations ... A critique as radical as this one will astonish conservatives, who will wonder why those who accept it would even bother with the Bible. But it will embolden social activists glad to weaken restraints rooted in traditional understandings of scripture.

Expect media attention and controversy."—Booklist

"Michael Coogan is an extraordinary writer on the culture of the Bible and the ancient Near East. Though acknowledged far and wide as an impeccable scholar, he always manages to make his scholarship accessible to the general reader and to find just the right point of entry into a subject so that the reader may be lured onward. Furthermore, his clarity of exposition inevitably exposes the relevance of his subject to our world. A book on sex in the Bible is the perfect subject to display Coogan's unusual abilities. It's hard to imagine readers not being interested in the subject of sex and God, especially in the hands of a writer as skillful as Coogan."—Thomas Cahill, former director of religious publishing at Doubleday and author of the bestselling Hinges of History series

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780446574136
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 10/1/2010
  • Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 641,652
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Michael Coogan is Director of Publications for the Harvard Semitic Museum and Professor of Religious Studies at Stonehill College. For several decades, he has taught an introductory course on the Hebrew Scriptures at Harvard University, as well as at Wellesley College, Boston College, and Stonehill College. One of the leading biblical scholars in the United States, he is the author of The Old Testament: A Historical and Literary Introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures, and editor of the acclaimed third edition of The New Oxford Annotated Bible.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 9 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 14, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    God And Sex What The Bible Really Says

    Anytime I can read a book that may further help me understand the Bible and what God's word really means I am excited to read it, so I jumped at the chance to review God And Sex What The Bible Really Says by Michael Coogan. With that being said, even though it had me looking up a few scriptures, overall, the ideas presented in this book was quite different from my religious upbringing.

    This book sheds a different light on the topic of sex in the Bible. He explains very simply how meanings can be lost in translation. For us to" know" someone means just that, to perhaps know them personally or know their work, but to "know" someone in the biblical sense means to know them sexually. It is easy to see how reading the Bible we should really know the true meaning of the word as it was used during Bible time. He goes on to tell us that in Hebrew time words such as hand, feet,nakedness among other terms could be used as euphemisms for male or female genitalia.

    His covered subjects such as marriage, adultery, homosexuality along with a myriad of other sexual related topics. This book was an easy read, written so the average person could understand it, and included footnotes peppered throughout. He presents his ideas in a clear concise way, without sounding preachy.

    While his interpretations vary from what I was taught in church, I still found this an interesting book to read.

    Thanks to Hachette Publishing for providing me a copy for review.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2010

    Must read for the open minded

    I grew up in the Baptist church, and even went so far as to do a 2 month missions trip, so my background is so intensely "Christian," that people are surprised when I discuss things like this... things that just aren't talked about.

    But they should be. And Coogan does. And he does it in a fairly non-biased way, simply using his experience to examine the Bible from a different perspective.

    The book isn't simply about intercourse, but examines gender issues, and challenges believers to examine the roots of our faith.

    Signed, a Christian of 20 years.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 9, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    disorganized; too many diversions; points could be done in a list, not a book

    Disclosure: I am of the same opinion that the bible has lots of references to sex and is man inspired and not divine in any way. I was raised in a Christian family, but I became a non-believer about 35 years ago; i.e. I am an Humanist, non-believer in god(s). I have read the bible many times in several different versions. It is a good book, but not the "Good Book," meaning it has fascinating stories and interesting points in history.

    But this book's title is "God and Sex: What the Bible Really Say" spends a lot of pages on not covering this at all. All of this, possibly a first version, jumps all over the place and doesn't follow neither biblical order nor chronological order (or supposedly chronological order). This rather poor organization makes it hard to follow, especially if you know the bible. Points covered as a list and that is what this should have been, not a book. I highly recommend passing on this book, unless you get it for free.

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    Posted December 30, 2010

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