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Creation and the Persistence of Evil:
The Jewish Drama of Divine Omnipotence
Jon D. Levenson

Paperback | 1994 | $31.95 / £21.95 | ISBN: 9780691029504
200 pp. | 5 x 8
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Reviews | Table of Contents

This paperback edition brings to a wide audience one of the most innovative and meaningful models of God for this post-Auschwitz era. In a thought-provoking return to the original Hebrew conception of God, which questions accepted conceptions of divine omnipotence, Jon Levenson defines God's authorship of the world as a consequence of his victory in his struggle with evil. He traces a flexible conception of God to the earliest Hebrew sources, arguing, for example, that Genesis 1 does not describe the banishment of evil but the attempt to contain the menace of evil in the world, a struggle that continues today.

Review:

"A doctrine of creatio ex nihilo and a perception of creation as essentially a fait accompli `in the beginning' have stripped much of the drama from the views of creation found in the Hebrew Bible. Levenson seeks--with impressive success--to restore that drama. He provides, thereby, a reflective biblical foundation, based in solid philological and comparative study."--Lee Humphreys, Hebrew Studies

"This masterful biblical and rabbinic study of creation and evil may challenge Christian proponents of creation theology and spirituality and adherents of the doctrine of creatio ex nihilo."--John C. Endres, S.J., Theological Studies

Table of Contents:

Abbreviations ix
Acknowledgments xi
Note on the Text (1994) xiii
Preface (1994) xv
Preface xxix
Part I THE MASTERY OF GOD AND THE VULNERABILITY OF ORDER
1. The Basic Idea of Israelite Religion? 3
2. The Survival of Chaos After the Victory of God 14
3. The Futurity and Presence of the Cosmogonic Victory 26
4. Conclusion: The Vitality of Evil and the Fragility of Creation 47
Part II THE ALTERNATION OF CHAOS AND ORDERGENESIS 1:1-2:3
5. Creation Without Opposition: Psalm 104 53
6. Creation in Seven Days 66
7. Cosmos and Microcosm 78
8. Rest and Re-Creation 100
9. Conclusion: Chaos Neutralized in Cult 121
Part III CREATION AND COVENANT: THE DYNAMICS OF LORDSHIP AND SUBMISSION
10. The Two Idioms of Biblical Monotheism 131
11. The Dialectic of Covenantal Theonomy 140
12. Argument and Obedience 149
Notes 157
Scripture Index 177
Author Index 181

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    File created: 7/11/2014

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