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Divine Evil?The Moral Character of the God of Abraham$
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Michael Bergmann, Michael J. Murray, and Michael C. Rea

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199576739

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199576739.001.0001

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God's Struggles

God's Struggles

Chapter:
(p.321) 11 God's Struggles
Source:
Divine Evil?
Author(s):

Howard Wettstein

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199576739.003.0033

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

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