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Books  >>  Religion

James Goodman

But Where Is the Lamb?

James Goodman But Where Is The Lamb? Imagining The Story Of Abraham And Isaac
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A uniquely original encounter with one of the most compelling and resonant stories ever told—the story of God's command to Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac. A history and meditation that illuminates the myriad ways in which it has been interpreted and understood down through the ages.

A mere nineteen lines in the book of Genesis, the story rests at the heart of the history, literature, theology, and sacred rituals of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and for more than two millennia, people have struggled with the troubling questions about sacrifice, authority, obedience, and faith the story gives rise to. James Goodman recounts the history of that struggle, from the story's origins to its place in the cultures and faiths of our own time. He introduces us to the commentary of late-antiquity rabbis and priests and then early Islamic exegetes (many of whom believed that Ishmael was the son that Abraham nearly sacrificed). He examines Syriac hymns (in which Sarah plays a major role), the Hebrew chronicles of the First Crusade (in which Isaac often dies), and the medieval English mystery plays. He delineates the story's presence in the art of Europe's golden age, the philosophy of Kant and Kierkegaard, and the panoply of both sacred and profane reflection upon the story in the twentieth-century.


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