In Ethics in the Hebrew Bible and Beyond, Susan Niditch takes soundings among those who have recently approached ethics in the Hebrew Scriptures, their methodological interests, their goals, and their definitions of "ethics" itself. By means of close exegesis of specific passages from the Hebrew Bible and a discussion of the interpretation and application of these ancient texts by post-biblical Jewish writers and other creative contributors from outside the Jewish tradition, this volume explores topics in religious ethics, social justice, political ethics, economic ethics, issues in ecology, gender and sexuality, killing and dying, and reproductive ethics.
Certain goals inform all chapters: interest in tracing recurring themes concerning the definition of the good, and the various ways in which Jewish thinkers rely on the more ancient material, interpret, and appropriate it; the links between areas in ethics, for example, between gender and reproductive ethics or war-views and attitudes to political ethics and environmental ethics. Niditch carves out specific biblical texts and themes in order to explore them in depth with special interest in the meanings and messages that emerge from ancient Israelite writers' varied treatments of issues in ethics. Ethics in the Hebrew Bible and Beyond provides a thoughtful discussion of biblical composers' treatment of ethical issues and an engaging overview of the ways in which these texts have been appropriated, in particular by Jewish contributors. This volume serves to challenge readers' own assumptions about biblical ethics, the applicability and the various meanings and messages that might be derived from engagement with key biblical texts.
Susan Niditch is the Samuel Green Professor of Religion at Amherst College. She was educated at Harvard University, where her teachers, Albert Bates Lord, Frank Moore Cross, Paul D. Hanson, and Isadore Twersky, deeply influenced her scholarly interests and approaches. Her areas of research and teaching include the study of ancient Israelite literature from the perspectives of folklore and oral-traditional studies; biblical ethics with special interests in war, gender, and the body; the reception history of the Bible; and study of the rich symbolic media of biblical ritual texts. Her most recent books are The Responsive Self: Personal Religion in Biblical Literature of the Neo-Babylonian and Persian Periods (Yale University Press, 2015) and Jonah: A Commentary (Hermeneia Series, 2022).
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