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More than ancient erotic love poetry, this celebration of the human relationship with Wisdom can be a companion for your own spiritual journey.
The Song of Songs is the Hebrew Bible's deeply erotic poem of love, sexual yearning and consummation. Holding it sacred yet troubled by its thinly veiled eroticism, Jews and Christians for millennia have read the Song of Songs as an allegory of God’s love for Israelthe classic Jewish understandingor Jesus’s love for his Churchthe classic Christian understanding. This fresh translation restores the Song’s eroticism and interprets it as a celebration of the love between the Divine Feminine and the contemporary spiritual seeker.
Scholar and award-winning teacher Rami Shapiro renders this ancient love song as Lady Wisdom offering seekers physical and spiritual intimacy with her so that they might awaken to and participate wisely in the unity of God, woman, man and nature. His intriguing facing-page commentary provides historical, religious and spiritual insights from Christian and Jewish wisdom traditions as well as clear comparisons to other translations.
Now you can understand the poetry, beauty, genius and mystery of the Song of Songs with no previous knowledge of the Hebrew Bible or wisdom literature. Compelling in its novelty and accessible in its presentation, this version of the Song of Songs will beckon you more deeply into Jewish-Christian sacred texts while offering you wisdom teachings and practices rooted in but not limited to religion.
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About the Author
Rami Shapiro, a renowned teacher of spirituality across faith traditions, is an award-winning storyteller, poet and essayist. He is author of The Sacred Art of Lovingkindness: Preparing to Practice, RecoveryThe Sacred Art: The Twelve Steps as Spiritual Practice and The Divine Feminine in Biblical Wisdom Literature: Selections Annotated & Explained (all SkyLight Paths), among other books.
Rami Shapiro is available to speak on the following topics:
- WritingThe Sacred Art: Beyond the Page to Spiritual Practice
- Stop Playing God: 12 Steps as Spiritual Practice
- Biblical Wisdom for Post-biblical Times: An Exploration of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Job
- The Sacred Art of Lovingkindness: Cultivating Compassion in Daily Life
- Hasidic Wisdom: An Exploration of Hasidic Storytelling, Theology and Contemplative Practice
- Saints and Sages: Biblical Prophets, Ancient Rabbis and the Building of a Just World
Rev. Cynthia Bourgeault, PhD, is an Episcopal priest and retreat leader focusing in Christian Spirituality. She is principal teacher for the Contemplative Society in Victoria, British Columbia, and founding director of the Aspen Wisdom School in Aspen, Colorado. Her books include Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening, The Wisdom Way of Knowing, Encountering the Wisdom Jesus, Mystical Hope and Love Is Stronger than Death. She serves on the core faculty for the Spiritual Paths Foundation whose mission is to promote curiosity, respect and acceptance between people of diverse spiritual traditions.
Table of Contents
Foreword by Cynthia Bourgeault ix
IntroductionThe Song of Songs as the Holy of Holies 1
God's DaughterWisdom as the Divine Feminine 17
Back to the GardenFrom Eve to the Shulamite 29
Through My Flesh I See GodThe Song of Songs as Jewish Maithuna 41
Chapter One 57
Chapter Two 67
Chapter Three 79
Chapter Four 87
Chapter Five 95
Chapter Six 103
Chapter Seven 109
Chapter Eight 117
The Path of EcstasyHow to Use the Song of Songs 131
Notes to Front and Back Matter 143