The God of Old: Inside the Lost World of the Bible

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Simon and Schuster, Jul 5, 2004 - Religion - 288 pages
2 Reviews
Our notion of God today -- all-powerful, invisible, and omnipresent -- is not the same as the God of the Hebrew Bible. So who is this "God of Old?" And what is His place in the modern spiritual world?
James Kugel is renowned for his investigations into the history of the biblical era, a time beginning more than three thousand years ago, when the Bible's earliest parts first took shape. With The God of Old, Kugel goes even deeper, attempting to enter the pages of the Old Testament and see God as the Israelites first encountered him.
The God of Old appeared to people unexpectedly; He was not sought out. Often He was not even recognized, at first mistaken for an ordinary human being. The realm of the divine was not as it is today -- a spiritual dimension set off from the material world. The spiritual and the material overlapped, and the realm of the dead was a real domain just beyond the world of the living. Ordinary reality was in constant danger of sliding into something else, something stark but oddly familiar. And God was always standing just behind the curtain of the everyday world.
In this groundbreaking study, Kugel suggests that this alternative spirituality is not simply an archaic relic, replaced by a "better" understanding. Kugel's picture of the God of Old has much to tell us about God's very nature, and about the encounter between Him and human beings in today's world.
A book to treasure side by side with the Bible, The God of Old is sure to engage scholars and spiritual seekers alike for years to come.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - raizel - LibraryThing

Each chapter explores at least one idea. It feels to me that Kugel is developing his ideas as he writes this book and we are along for the ride. His use of the term starkness seems to be an attempt to ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - giovannigf - LibraryThing

I picked up "The God of Old" because I loved Kugel's "How to Read the Bible" and this promised to look deeper into some ideas that were mentioned in the latter. While interesting and enjoyable - Kugel ... Read full review

Contents

The Project i
1
Not Searching for God
37
No Graven Images
71
The Cry of the Victim
109
The Souls Journey
137
The Last Look
169
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

James L. Kugel served as the Starr Professor of Hebrew at Harvard from 1982 to 2003, where his course on the Bible was regularly one of the most popular on campus, enrolling more than nine hundred students. A specialist in the Hebrew Bible and its interpretation, he now lives in Jerusalem. His recent books include The God of Old, In the Valley of the Shadow and the forthcoming The Great Change.

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