Chapter

God's Struggles

Howard Wettstein

in Divine Evil?

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9780199576739
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191595165 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199576739.003.0033
God's Struggles

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This chapter takes issue with something fundamental in the overall outlook of many of the contributors to the volume. It sketches a traditional religious approach that nevertheless agrees with the critics on the ethical awfulness of some of what the Hebrew Bible attributes to God. The approach draws its inspiration from Jewish tradition, and focuses special attention on the Akedah and the Book of Job, stories that present extreme challenges to the conception of God as ethically perfect. These stories, it is argued, have great religious power and meaning, which is not to say that we understand God's role in them, his attitude towards his beloved, what he allows, commands, mandates. The chapter ends with some speculations about what we might make of God's treatment of Abraham and Job.

Keywords: anthropomorphism; Tanak; theodicy; theology; Akedah; Job; Abraham; Talmud; Midrash; tests

Chapter.  5988 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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