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Unprotected Texts: The Bible's Surprising Contradictions About Sex and Desire par [Knust, Jennifer Wright]
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Unprotected Texts: The Bible's Surprising Contradictions About Sex and Desire Format Kindle

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

“[Knust mines] the Bible for its earthiest and most inexplicable tales about sex…to show that the Bible’s teachings on sex are not as coherent as the religious right would have people believe.” (Newsweek)

“[An] impressive and highly readable analysis of Old and New Testament Bible stories.... For those wanting to understand the Bible as a chronicle of human conduct for achieving the goals of survival, peace, and fulfillment, this is a treasure.” (Booklist (starred review))

Présentation de l'éditeur

“An explosive, fascinating book that reveals how the Bible cannot be used as a rulebook when it comes to sex. A terrific read by a top scholar.” —Bart Ehrman, author of Misquoting Jesus

Boston University’s cutting-edge religion scholar Jennifer Wright Knust reveals the Bible’s contradictory messages about sex in this thoughtful, riveting, and timely reexploration of the letter of the gospels. In the tradition of Bart Erhman’s Jesus Interrupted and John Shelby Spong’s Sins of Scripture, Knust’s Unprotected Texts liberates us from the pervasive moralizing—the fickle dos and don’ts—so often dictated by religious demagogues. Knust’s powerful reading offers a return to the scripture, away from the mere slogans to which it is so often reduced.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 2271 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 352 pages
  • Editeur : HarperCollins e-books; Édition : Reprint (25 janvier 2011)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 3.5 étoiles sur 5 43 commentaires
87 internautes sur 106 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 I've waited a long, long time! 5 mars 2011
Par Trudie Barreras - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
I have just finished reading the amazing book entitled Unprotected Texts: The Bible's Surprising Contradictions about Sex and Desire. To say that I've waited a long, long time for a book this scholarly, honest, intelligent, and completely readable would still be a complete understatement.

Knust does something that I've been trying to do myself to a very limited extent, and that is to point out the extraordinary absurdity of claiming the Bible speaks with any kind of coherence on the notion that marriage is meant to be limited to "One Man, One Woman". However, she speaks from the perspective of a minister and scripture scholar, and though her work is scholarly, it is not in any way dry, dull or ponderous. She has produced a beautifully detailed, completely annotated discussion of sexual and marital norms as portrayed in both the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures, set against the backdrop of the cultural and political circumstances within which these norms existed.

As I've observed on my own, Knust makes emphatically clear that all Hebrew statements concerning marriage and sexuality were based on the primary principle that women were considered to be chattel. Above slaves, children and livestock in the hierarchy, they were none-the-less the property of their fathers or brothers if they were unmarried, and their husbands after marriage. All the restrictions on adultery related to a man's property rights over a woman. Although a man was permitted more than one wife in patriarchal times, women were NOT permitted more than one husband. Men, of course, were not censured for sexual activity with slaves or prostitutes, although there were definite restrictions on the "how, where and who".

Another very valuable contribution Knust makes is to compare - in easy-to-understand tabular form - the variety of attitudes towards marriage, sexual activity and celibacy discussed in the various epistles that have been included in the Christian canon. This saves the reader a tremendous amount of effort in terms of flipping back and forth between one text and another, and sets these ideas in the context of the changing perspective in the Early Church concerning the immanence of Christ's return. She also, and I am extremely grateful for this, investigates the flawed historical assertions that there was significant "Sacred Prostitution" practiced as part of the ritual of non-Hebrew cultures at the time of Christ. Additionally, she compares the attitudes towards marriage and sexuality in the Roman Empire at the beginning of the Christian Era, and quotes a number of Greek and Roman sources that parallel the writings of early Christian apologists.

The key point that of course is of most significance to me is the realization that the misogyny and devaluation of women, which was apparently a major driving force in ancient times, is still, unfortunately, a very major part of our current cultural and spiritual landscape. From the incredible abuse of women that is still practiced under what Islam calls Sharia Law, to the Roman Catholic insistence on priestly celibacy and the refusal of holy orders to women, to the conflicts the US military is still having about what particular roles to allow women in the armed forces, the issue remains. I recently heard an interview with a female general who discussed the insistence of the army less than a generation ago that women should not be eligible for promotion to command rank because it was generally believed that by the time they got to that point in their careers, they'd be undergoing menopause, and "everyone knew" how unstable women were during their "change of life"! Whatever view we take, what another writer has termed "pelvic issues" tend to oppress women the most.

I would like to quote part of the concluding paragraph of Knust's book, because I believe it focuses her thesis so beautifully, and says exactly what I've wanted to hear said for so long:

"Those who attempt to belittle or demean a class of people, denying them rights on the basis of an unexamined interpretation of a few biblical passages, are expressing not God's will but their own limited human perspective, backed up by shallow and self-serving reading of the biblical text. No one should rejoice when Jezebel is eaten by dogs. Slavery is never acceptable, whatever the bible says. And it is a tragedy, not a triumph, every time some young person somewhere is crushed by the weight of taunting and shame inspired by cruelty masquerading as righteousness. If the Bible is truly the word of God, as Christians have claimed for centuries, then surely it deserves to be treated better than this. If human bodies matter to God as much as some ancient Israelites, Jewish Sages, and early Christians taught, then surely they deserve both protection and high regard, no matter what. The Samaritan woman desired living water capable of quenching thirst forever, not still water trapped in a bucket and available for one thirsty afternoon. When it comes to the Bible, may we imitate her example, seeking abundant life in all the interpretations we offer." (pp. 247 - 8)
27 internautes sur 33 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Comprehensive=good, writing style=alarming 1 mai 2013
Par Scott Loven - Publié sur
I found this book to be quite useful in terms of learning some of the apocrophal teachings surrounding these issues. For example; her writing on the Nephilim, i.e. "sex with Angels" being the only sexual act condemned in the Bible, according to Knust's interpretations, and the various extra-biblical texts which discuss this issue (like the book of Enoch).

The book was also useful because it was frankly, comprehensive. It covered every possible passage one could think of which could have bearing on sexuality. I learned a lot by having all of these passages collected and discussed together in an intensive fashion.

Anyway, I thought I would mention that I found her writing style somewhat alarming throughout. She would often times declare statements along the lines of "this interpretation has since been dismissed by contemorary Bibllical scholars" etc. without a reference or more importantly, without an explaination of how it has been contradicted. Such writing practice is alarming because many readers (including myself sometimes) would simply glance over such a statement and soak it in without considering the implications. Furthermore, such statements are not even reliable anyway; as if Knust could speak for all contemporary scholars.

I also was quite alarmed by the fact that a number of Knust's assertions are based on Biblical passages which she translated herself. Perhaps this is a loaded issue (who has the right to interpret, and how could we trust those people?).

The take away? Knust states that everyone brings their own "wishes" (read: pre-conceived notions) to the text which affect the interpretation thereof. "Whatever we wish for, I point out, probably can be found somewhere in the Bible, which is why it is so important to admit that we have wishes, whatever they may be. We are not passive recipients of what the Bible says, but active interpreters who make decisions about what we will believe and what we will affirm." That is more or less true. However, "Admitting that we have wishes, and that our wishes matter, is therefore the first step to developing an honest and faithful interpretation."-- This I find hard to swallow. I have never believed that our wishes mattered above the will of God. I believe that it is necessary to approach the will of God with fear and trembling and above all love. It's heavy stuff, and not to be tossed aside this easily.

By the way: I do not at all feel this book was difficult to read. It was academic, but it had to be. A little effort never hurt any reader.
33 internautes sur 42 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Profound exegesis - no matter what your flavor of faith 25 mars 2011
Par Stopdown - Publié sur
Format: Relié
This book, though very well written in highly readable English, is nevertheless going to be a challenging (but not daunting) task for those unfamiliar with the Bible, or the principles of Biblical exegesis. But make no mistake: the author's thorough work has done exegesis a favor, by accepting the texts of the Bible as they are published, and using the internal logic and accepting the underlying principles of faith as they are given to us. Her approach is that the texts are what they claim to be, the word of God, and in no instance has she resorted either to proof-texting, or to textual (aka 'higher') criticism. In fact, she provides us with a rich and colorful tapestry that weaves the old testament, new testament and inter-testamental eras into a unified whole, and places important passages - both well known and overlooked - in literary, theological and cultural contexts.

As someone who reads the Bible every few years from cover to cover, and hails from one of the faith propositions that most would label as 'conservative,' I can recommend this work to anyone of like mind who enjoys an honest, open, and deep traverse of Biblical theology and exegesis. The quality of this work is indisputable.
19 internautes sur 25 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
1.0 étoiles sur 5 Disappointing 2 septembre 2014
Par waxy_pallor - Publié sur
Format: Broché
I was really hoping to like this book, but I was disappointed. I'm a staunch feminist, and a devout (socially liberal) Christian, and for me, reading this book was exhausting and discouraging. Ever verse or story was presented in its most misogynistic interpretation. The author makes unsupported assumptions about the meanings of words, authorship of texts, and cultural implications of certain phrases. I would have liked to see more evidence. In addition, many of her arguments are supported by non-canonical proto-gospels and anti-body gnostic commentators. I'm not sure what this book is trying to accomplish, because for a book that is ostensibly about the Christian scripture, it is remarkably lacking in hope or mercy.
11 internautes sur 16 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 She should keep her silence... 8 juillet 2014
Par SupremeLogic - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
until she can properly interpret scripture. This author was all over the place and failed to make any sense with her arguments. Instead of picking apart and destroying every point she tried to make, I'll just mention two.

1) Trying to make a case for homosexuality, the author said that Lev 18:22 only condemns the 'penetrating man'. And that the 'receiving man', during gay copulation, is not committing an abomination. This is fallacious, primarily because Lev 20:13 commands that the Israelites put both men to death. How she brought up Lev 18:22 without mentioning Lev 20:13 is beyond me.

2) At the end of the book. She said that Thomas didn't touch jesus. "however, presenting his scarred flesh to his doubting disciple, Thomas failed to touch him. Or if he did, the gospel left this detail out"

Wrong! The context of John 20:25-29 ostensibly shows that Thomas did touch the wounds of Jesus. Thomas said he wouldn't believe unless he touched his wounds. Jesus himself gave the order to be touched by Thomas. But according to Knust, Mary and Thomas were to "look but not touch".

The book was a horrible read. I read it for research hoping to learn something new. To give her some credit though, her section on circumcision was good. And I found it interesting that childbirth would render a woman unclean and unable to enter into YHWH temple for 30 days. I'd like to study that part more.
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