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A Critical Theology of Genesis: The Non-Absolute God by Itzhak Benyamini

By Itzhak Benyamini

In this booklet Itzhak Benyamini offers an alternate studying of Genesis, a detailed textual research from the tale of construction to the binding of Isaac. This examining deals the potential of a delicate relation to God, now not one characterised via worry and awe. the quantity offers Don-Abraham-Quixote now not as a perpetual knight of religion yet as a crafty believer within the face of God's calls for of him. Benyamini reads Genesis with no making concessions to God, asking approximately Him ahead of He examines the center of Adam, Noah, Abraham, and the opposite knights of religion (if they're fairly that). during this approach, the observation on Genesis turns into a platform for a brand new kind of serious theology. via this unconventional rereading of the wide-spread biblical textual content, the booklet makes an attempt to extract a special ethic, one who demanding situations the Kierkegaardian call for of blind religion in an all-knowing ethical God and provides in its stead an alternate, daily ethic. The ethic that Benyamini uncovers is characterised through relations continuity and culture meant to make sure that very axis—familial permanence and resilience within the face of the not easy and capricious legislation of God and the typical hardships of lifestyles.

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Thereby God performs the first religious act of separation and distinction between the sacred and the profane. 22 I. BENYAMINI What is sanctification? Is it to be understood as the traumatic of Rudolf Otto and Freud and as the real in Lacan (in relation to “what does not go”)? For the ordinary person, it is not usually revealed as a truly transcendent revelation, for it is self-evident. God does not spoil things, does not ruin anything, does not do anything bad, but accompanies and supports from the side, while his existence is expressed in abiding.

By contrast, in the second story, it may be said that, from the earth’s point of view, it exists first. Womblike, it requires the paternal fertilizing seed. Seen in this way, YHWH is the object created as an Other. He is the Other reflected in the face of the (female) earth, which by causing YHWH’s erection and fertilization, irrigation, exists and sustains him. If there is some act of irrigation in the interim at the beginning of the world, it is the mist, which does not belong to God, as if God were not active in the world at all, meaning that he does not exist.

The reader is entitled to ponder whether or not our remarks here have gnostic potential. In this context, let us state that we do not see that Genesis was written with ethical intent, even if our attitude may be termed nihilistic. Good and bad here do not have human, ethical meaning. These terms do not truly represent the good or bad actions of people—as, for example, between a person and his or her fellow being—but rather, a response to God’s desire for separation (good) and his distaste for the elimination of separation (bad).

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