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Slayers of Moses: The Emergence of Rabbinic Interpretation in Modern Literary Theory (Suny Series on Modern Jewish Literature and Culture) Hardcover – July, 1982

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About the Author

Susan A. Handelman, Assistant Professor of English at the University of Maryland, has published articles on literature, critical theory, and Jewish studies. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Series: Suny Series on Modern Jewish Literature and Culture
  • Hardcover: 290 pages
  • Publisher: State Univ of New York Pr (July 1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0873955765
  • ISBN-13: 978-0873955768
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,718,094 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By A Customer on March 31, 2000
Format: Paperback
A brilliant analysis of the distinguishing characteristics of Rabbinic thought. The implications of the perspectives advanced here have great value not only for people interested in the ancient world, but for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of Judaism, or even "Jewishness", today. The author depicts Rabbinic thought, as compared to ancient Greek, as indeterminate and contingent, paradoxical, and tolerant of ambiguity. Greek thought, of course, introduced rationalism: natural laws, unquestioned principles, and self-evident proofs. In this fascinating study, we can (ala Matthew Arnold) trace the roots of modern thought to both Greece and "Judea" (properly speaking, Babylonia). From Greece, rational thought; from Judea, a surprisingly modern "openness to hypothesis, to all aspects of a problem", "a relativization of generalization and conclusion" and "a search for alternative explanations," habits of thought that are integral to the practice of all natural and social sciences today.
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Handelman`s book is excellent until she delves into Pauline theology and the basic tenets of Christianity. She establishes a number of rookie straw man arguments of which someone (a notable N.T. scholar) should have already chided her. At first, I thought it might simply be her misunderstanding of N.T. genre, Koine Greek, and traditional Orthodoxy. However, I began to believe she was simply being disingenuous. As an example, she partly quotes Romans 7:7 so as to support her argument that Paul is antinomian and is attempting to make the law the culprit for his sin (i.e.making the law and agent of evil). She, of course, leaves out the necessary portion of that scripture that clarifies that Paul is NOT saying the law is evil. In fact, he say God forbid to such a claim! She also does not take note of Romans 3:31 where Paul states that faith DOES NOT destroy the law but establishes it. As a result, this undercuts her theory of spiritual substitution (Pauline) replacing literal meaning (pg. 88) In N.T theology, the law is not destroyed by the person of Christ but fulfilled through Christ. Once an individual is born again (justification through the finished work of Christ), then the Spirit lives within that person and allows the person to fulfill the law through the indwelling of the Spirit (sanctification). She confuses Law for purposes of justification and sanctification (which is understandable given the Rabbinic view). In neither case is the law destroyed. The key here is that man can`t fulfill the law without God doing it through him. One required a particular act that satiates wrath and provides positional perfection while the other does not bring manifest perfection here but determines eschatological reward.Read more ›
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again, not easy reading, demands intense concentration & therefore, considerable time rereading & contemplating. Worth it so far!
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Quality book that arrived in a timely way and in an as-advertised condition. Thanks.
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