For the Love of God is a provocative and inspiring re-interpretation of six essential Biblical texts: The Song of Songs, the Book of Ruth, Psalms, Ecclesiastes, Jonah, and Job. In prose that is personal and probing, analytically acute and compellingly readable, Ostriker sees these writings as “counter-texts,” deviating from convention yet deepening and enriching the Bible, our images of God, and our own potential spiritual lives. Attempting to understand “some of the wildest, strangest, most splendid writing in Western tradition,” she shows how the Bible embraces sexuality and skepticism, boundary crossing and challenges to authority, how it illuminates the human psyche and mirrors our own violent times, and how it asks us to make difficult choices in the quest for justice.
For better or worse, our society is wedded to the Bible. But according to Talmud, “There is always another interpretation.” Ostriker demonstrates that the Bible, unlike its reputation, offers a plenitude of surprises.
“No one who reads this amazing, brilliantly written book will ever read the Bible the same way again” —Elaine Pagels
“Against popular misconceptions of the bible as a ‘book’ that is the dependable repository of supposedly biblical values, Ostriker vividly unfolds the strong and at times startling differences of outlook of different biblical texts. She writes with the sensitivity of a poet, unafraid to argue with scripture yet keenly responsive to what is there to discover in it.” —Robert Alter
“The perfect antidote to fundamentalist readings of the Bible...” —Judith Plaskow
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Rutgers University Press