The Book of God

The Book of God : A Response to the Bible

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Description

Is the Bible one book or a collection of writings? If it is a book, does it stand as a coherent piece of literature? Building on the recently renewed interest in biblical narrative associated with Erich Auerbach, Northrop Frye, and Robert Alter, Gabriel Josipovici here sets out to answer these and other equally fascinating questions. Developing his argument through close textual analysis, Josipovici draws on his deep knowledge and appreciation of medieval and modern art and literature and on his personal understanding of the possibilities of narrative. His beautifully written book not only lifts literary-biblical criticism to a new level but also makes the Bible accessible to our secular age. "This is a book to be grateful for: thoughtful, deeply felt, and beautifully written."-David Lodge, Independent "Full of such insights, which deserve and need to be pondered by both literary critics and Biblical scholars of the traditional sort." -John Barton, London Review of Books " His book is easy, intimate and direct, partly because he has digested all his learning, partly because his dissatisfaction with his predecessors' solutions never belittles them, and partly because his own readings are those of a cultivated contemporary who, though respectful, is not awestruck. Whatever he turns to, he illuminates."-The New Yorker "His urbane style, shrewd discernment, subtle humor, and above all, his passion for words lead us to listen in fresh ways."- Walter Brueggemann, Theology Today "As 'A Response to the Bible,' The Book of God is fresh and energetic, scattering insights in all directions, making original and unexpected connections between the Bible and such modern authors as Proust, casting new light upon such questions as the Bible's place in Western culture, the nature of its authority, the unity and discontinuities of the text, and the need for a perspective that at once transcends and unites historical-theological and aesthetic interpretation."-Northrop Fryeshow more

Product details

  • Paperback | 368 pages
  • 165.9 x 234.2 x 20.6mm | 644.11g
  • Yale University Press
  • New Haven, United States
  • English
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • black & white illustrations
  • 0300048653
  • 9780300048650
  • 1,190,899

Back cover copy

Is the Bible one book or a collection of writings? If it is a book, what kind of book is it and does it stand as a coherent piece of literature? Building on the recently renewed interest in biblical narrative associated with Erich Auerbach, Northrop Frye, and Robert Alter, Gabriel Josipovici here sets out to answer these and other equally fascinating questions. His beautifully written book constitutes a rethinking of the nature of the Bible and our relation to it.show more

Review Text

Josipovici is a novelist (Contre-Jour, 1986), critic, and professor of English at the Univ. of Sussex, but he approaches his formidable subject in the best spirit of a true amateur. With a freshness that comes only of interest, he here investigates the nature of the Bible and how we might go about reading it. What is the difference between the Bible and any other book? Is it a coherent whole, or a "ragbag" of stories, poems, and religious instruction? Josipovici credits Martin Buber with giving him "a glimpse of how it might be possible to illuminate the Bible by looking at what it said rather than what lay behind it." He stays close to the text, then, illuminating his meditations with comparisons to Kafka, T.S. Eliot, and Thomas Mann - and with observations from other literary/biblical critics, including Frank Kermode and Northrop Frye, and from theologians as well. Always keeping the Bible as a whole in view, he examines the fundamental elements of rhythm, speech, and character throughout both the Old and New Testaments. A subtle and complex work, scrupulously wary of reductionism. Josipovici's reading reminds us that the Bible can perhaps never be finally explained and that a true reading such as his enforces an encounter with oneself as well as with the Bible. (Kirkus Reviews)show more