"Strikingly original and a significant contribution to the field." -- David M. Gunn, A. A. Bradford Professor of Religion, Texas Christian University
From the Back Cover
Human bodily existence-from birth to death-is at the core of the Torah and many other books of the Hebrew Scriptures. From God's creation of Adam out of clay to the narratives of priests and kings whose regulations governed bodily practices, the Hebrew Bible focuses on the human body. Ancient Israel's understanding of the human body has also greatly influenced both Judaism and Christianity. Despite this pervasive influence, ancient Israel's view of the human body has rarely been studied and, until now, has been poorly understood.
In this beautifully written book, Jon L. Berquist guides the reader through the Hebrew Bible, examining ancient Israel's ideas of the body, the role of gender, the deployment of sexuality, and the cultural practices of the time. Conducting his analysis with reference to contemporary theories of the body, power, and social control, Berquist offers a description and clarification of ancient Israelite views of the body. Understood in this light, the familiar Bible takes on a different dimension and becomes open to a wide range of new interpretations.