Beginning of Wisdom Reading Genesis

ISBN-10: 0226425673

ISBN-13: 9780226425672

Edition: 2006

Authors: Leon R. Kass

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As ardent debates over creationism fill the front pages of newspapers, Genesis has never been more timely. And as Leon R. Kass shows in "The Beginning of Wisdom," it's also timeless. Examining Genesis in a philosophical light, Kass presents it not as a story of what happened long ago, but as the enduring story of humanity itself. He asserts that the first half of Genesis contains insights about human nature that "rival anything produced by the great philosophers." Kass here reads these first stories--from Adam and Eve to the tower of Babel--as a mirror for self-discovery that reveals truths about human reason, speech, freedom, sexual desire, pride, shame, anger, and death. Taking a step further in the second half of his book, Kass explores the struggles in Genesis to launch a new way of life that addresses mankind's morally ambiguous nature by promoting righteousness and holiness. Even readers who don't agree with Kass's interpretations will find "The Beginning of Wisdom" a" "compelling book--a masterful philosophical take on one of the world's seminal religious texts. "Extraordinary. . . . Its analyses and hypotheses will leave no reader's understanding of Genesis unchanged." --"New York Times " "A learned and fluent, delightfully overstuffed stroll through the Gates of Eden. . . . Mix Harold Bloom with Stephen Jay Gould and you'll get something like Kass. A wonderfully intelligent reading of Genesis."--"Kirkus Reviews, "starred review "Throughout his book, Kass uses fruitful, fascinating techniques for getting at the heart of Genesis. . . . Innumerable times [he] makes a reader sit back and rethink what has previously been tediously familiar orbaffling."--"Washington"" Post" "It is important to state that this is a book not merely rich, but prodigiously rich with insight. Kass is a marvelous reader, sensitive and careful. His interpretations surprise again and again with their cogency and poignancy."--"Jerusalem"" Post "
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Book details

List price: $24.00
Copyright year: 2006
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 3/15/2006
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 716
Size: 5.75" wide x 8.75" long x 2.00" tall
Weight: 2.024
Language: English

Leon R. Kass is Addie Clark Harding Professor in the Committee on Social Thought and the College at the University of Chicago.

Preface: The Professor and the Fossil
Introduction: The Beginning of Wisdom
Dangerous Beginnings: The Uninstructed Ways Genesis 1-11
Awesome Beginnings: Man, Heaven, and the Created Order
The Follies of Freedom and Reason: The Story of the Garden of Eden (I)
The Vexed Question of Man and Woman: The Story of the Garden of Eden (II)
Fratricide and Founding: The Twisted Roots of Civilization
Death, Beautiful Women, and the Heroic Temptation: The Return of Chaos and the Flood
Elementary Justice: Man, Animals, and the Coming of Law and Covenant
Paternity and Piety: Noah and His Sons
Babel: The Failures of Civilization
Educating the Fathers Genesis 12-50
Abraham (Genesis 12-25)
Educating the Fathers: Father Abraham
Educating Father Abraham: The Meaning of Marriage
Educating Father Abraham: The Meaning of Patriarchy
Isaac (Genesis 25-48)
Inheriting the Way: From Father to Son
The Education of Isaac: From Son to Patriarch
Jacob (Genesis 28-35)
The Adventures of Jacob: The Taming of the Shrewd
Brotherhood and Piety: Facing Esau, Seeing God
Politics and Piety: Jacob Becomes Israel
The Generations of Jacob: Joseph, Judah, and Their Brothers (Genesis 36-50)
The Generations of Jacob: The Question of Leadership
Joseph the Egyptian
Joseph and His Brothers: Estrangement and Recognition
Israel in Egypt: The Way Not Taken
Losing Joseph, Saving Israel: Jacob Preserves the Way
Epilogue: The End of the Beginning
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