Reviews for For the Love of God : The Bible As an Open Book

Choice Reviews 2008 June
This slim volume is simply exquisite, erudite, and inspiring. Ostriker (emer., Rutgers) takes a wide-angle approach to explore six "unconventional and outrageous" texts within the Hebrew Bible to demonstrate that, although distinct, each text can yet deliver a contemporary meaning. Drawing on over 20 years of study and many more years of life experience, she explores, both analytically and personally, Song of Songs, the Book of Ruth, Psalms, Ecclesiastes, Jonah, and Job. With the Song of Songs and Ruth, Ostriker begins with a feminist perspective but offers reflection on first love and how "humanity trumps nationality." Her exploration of Psalms emphasizes the full range of emotion offered to and embraced by humanity. In Ecclesiastes, she finds joy amid a traditionally pessimistic text. In Jonah, she finds a "psychological and political" value just as relevant today. With Job, she wrestles with how the One God can be responsible for both good and evil. In the end, Ostriker's contemporizing discoveries in these six unique biblical books, borne from traditional analysis, personal reflection, and world events, offer the wisdom that there is something new under the sun. Summing Up: Essential. Lower-level undergraduates through faculty/researchers; general readers. Copyright 2008 American Library Association.