In this volume Grace M. Jantzen continues her groundbreaking analysis of death and beauty in western thought by examining the religious roots of death and violence in the Jewish and Christian tradition, which underlie contemporary values.
She shows how man’s fear of the female is often implicated in religious violence and in her critique of the Hebrew Bible and the Christian New Testament she examines a range of themes that show the western preoccupation with necrophilia. She examines the relation of death to the Jewish covenant, the nature of monotheism, Holy War and the Christian covenant and kingdom. However, Jantzen recognises that submerged beneath these themes in Judaism and Christianity are traces of an alternative world of beauty and life.
Jantzen’s internationally recognised feminist philosophy of religion puts forward a powerful analysis of patriarchy and violence and reveals the hidden power of natality. Her work is a searching challenge for our times and one that gives hope in a violent world. This work is the first of two posthumous publications to complete her impressive genealogy death and beauty of western thought.
Preface Acknowledgements Introduction: Was it ‘Very Good’? Part One: Beauty, Violence and Story 1. Violence, Desire and Creation 2. Imagining Natality: Narrative and Utopia Part Two: Judaism and the Ancient Near East 3. The Finger of God 4. The Chosen Ones: Death and the Covenant 5. ‘I am a Jealous God’: Monotheism and Holy War 6. ‘When I See the Blood’: Sacrifice… 7. Beauty for Ashes Part Three: Early Christianity 8. The Birth of Christ and Early Christianity: Setting the Scene 9. Covenant in Christendom 10. Medieval Deaths and Delights 11. Reading Medieval Mystics 12. Feminism and Flourishing Bibliography