The Nakedness of the Fathers: Biblical Visions and Revisions

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Rutgers University Press, 1997 - Poetry - 260 pages
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Like much twentieth-century feminist writing today, this book crosses the boundaries of genre. Biblical interpretation combines with fantasy, autobiography, and poetry. Politics joins with eroticism. Irreverence coexists with a yearning for the sacred. Scholarship contends with heresy. Most excitingly, the author continues and extends the tradition of arguing with God that commences in the Bible itself and continues now, as it has for centuries, to animate Jewish writing. The difference here is that the voice that debates with God is a woman's. In her introduction, "Entering the Tents, " Ostriker defines the need to struggle against a tradition in which women have been silenced and disempowered - and to recover the female power buried beneath the surface of the biblical texts. In "The Garden, " she reinterprets the mythically complex stories of Creation. Then she considers the stories of "The Fathers, " from Abraham and Isaac to Moses, David, and Solomon - and their wives, mothers, and sisters. In "The Return of the Mothers, " she begins with a radical new interpretation of the book of Esther, includes a meditation on the silenced wife of Job and the idea of justice, and concludes with a fable on the death of God and a prayer to the Shekhinah, the feminine aspect of God. Ostriker refuses to dismiss the Bible as meaningless to women. Instead, in this angry, eloquent, visionary book, she attempts to recover what is genuinely sacred in these sacred texts.
  

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User Review  - Jason Allen Ashlock - Goodreads

If ever Goodreads were to add more stars--ten, twenty, one hundred--this book would earn them each. Read full review

Contents

In the Beginning the Being
3
The Garden
19
Creation
29
The Brothers
35
The Fathers Nakedness
43
The Bosom of Abraham
49
Sarah or Defiance
67
The Opinion of Hagar
73
The Songs of Miriam
145
A Midrash on Sinai
151
Judges or Disasters of War
159
The Redeeming of Ruth
169
Hannah or Sons and Lovers
177
David the King
183
The Wisdom of Solomon
205
Esther or the World Turned Upside Down
219

Isaac or Laughter
81
The Opinion of the Ram
89
The Sisters
105
The Nursing Father
121
Job or a Meditation on Justice
231
Tree of Life
241
A Prayer to the Shekhinah
253
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About the author (1997)

Alicia Ostriker is the author of seven volumes of poetry, as well as "Vision and Verse in William Blake" and an annotated edition of Blake's "Complete Poems," Her work as a feminist critic includes "Writing like a Woman" and the widely influential and controversial "Stealing the Language: The Emergence of Women's Poetry in America.

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