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Personhood of God: Biblical Theology, Human Faith and the Divine Image

Overview

A fascinating exploration of the many faces of God and what they reveal about our own humanity He was a whole pantheon in Himself…. He constantly appeared in many and ever-changing roles lest He be frozen and converted into the dumb idols He Himself despised. God was a polyvalent personality who, by mirroring to man His many faces, provided the models that man so needed to survive and flourish. This is the true humanity of God. —from the Introduction In scholarly but accessible terms, with many startling and ...

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Personhood of God: Biblical Theology, Human Faith and the Divine Image

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Overview

A fascinating exploration of the many faces of God and what they reveal about our own humanity He was a whole pantheon in Himself…. He constantly appeared in many and ever-changing roles lest He be frozen and converted into the dumb idols He Himself despised. God was a polyvalent personality who, by mirroring to man His many faces, provided the models that man so needed to survive and flourish. This is the true humanity of God. —from the Introduction In scholarly but accessible terms, with many startling and controversial insights, renowned Bible scholar Dr. Yochanan Muffs examines the anthropomorphic evolution of the Divine Image—from creator of the cosmos to God the father, God the husband, God the king, God the "chess-player," God the ultimate master—and how these different images of God have shaped our faith and world view. Muffs also examines how expressions of divine power, divine will and divine love throughout the Bible have helped develop the contemporary human condition and our enriching dialectic between faith and doubt.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781580233385
  • Publisher: Jewish Lights Publishing
  • Publication date: 3/1/2009
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 221
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.70 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr. Yochanan Muffs, for more than four decades a beloved teacher at The Jewish Theological Seminary of America (JTS), holds the Distinguished Service Professorship in Bible and Religion at JTS and has made major contributions in biblical studies, Semitic languages, the history of the ancient Near East and Jewish religion and thought in general. Dr. Muffs's central work has been in the understanding of biblical text through comparative philological study. His two books, Studies in the Aramaic Legal Papyri from Elephantine and Love and Joy: Law, Language and Religion in Ancient Israel are unparalleled studies in this area.

A world-renowned philosopher and social activist, Dr. David Hartman (z"l) is the founder and president emeritus of the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem. Named after his late father, the Institute is dedicated to developing a new understanding of classical Judaism that provides moral and spiritual direction for Judaism's confrontation with modernity.

Presently professor emeritus at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, he received his rabbinic ordination from Yeshiva University's theological seminary in New York City. He is the author of many award-winning books, including A Living Covenant: The Innovative Spirit in Traditional Judaism (Jewish Lights) and Maimonides: Torah and Philosophic Quest, both winners of the National Jewish Book Award; A Heart of Many Rooms: Celebrating the Many Voices within Judaism (Jewish Lights), finalist for the National Jewish Book Award and a Publishers Weekly "Best Book of the Year"; and Love and Terror in the God Encounter: The Theological Legacy of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik (Jewish Lights).

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Introduction : monotheism, anthropomorphism, and the personhood of God 1
1 Paganism and biblical religion 9
2 The essence of biblical process 19
3 Theological anthropomorphism 29
4 The Gods and the law 35
5 Family and nation : two versions of national formation 45
6 Biblical anthropomorphism 55
7 The living machine 61
8 Divine aspirations : four aspects of kingship 65
9 Power, love, and justice : the positive expression of the divine will 83
10 On the uses of divine power 89
11 Image and imagination in the Bible 97
12 Theology and poetics 103
13 Toward a phenomenology of the senses 113
14 Intent, volition, and the roots of rabbinic prayer 123
15 Joy in the liturgy 133
16 Love and alacrity in other liturgies 145
17 The priestly benediction 151
18 God and the world 159
19 A Jewish view of God's relation to the world 171
20 Judaism and secular culture 179
21 On the demythologizing of religion 189
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