Description: What can we possibly learn about our relationships to others from reading the story of an ancient father who raised a knife to slaughter his beloved only son? Contemporary Christian ethicists, faced with such dilemmas, are often tempted to treat the Hebrew Bible in a limited, distanced, and even dismissive way. Yet Emily Arndt here argues that ancient scriptures can be a vital resource for Christian ethical studies today. Focusing on a close analysis of the akedah — the story of Abraham’s near-sacrifice of Isaac — she demonstrates the power of even the most troubling and uncomfortable Old Testament narratives to teach valuable ethical lessons. Placing ourselves in relationship to such complex, perhaps un-resolvable, and always challenging sacred texts, she says, is in itself a practice that can help us learn to relate authentically and ethically to others.
Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Literature, Methods, Theological Approaches, Biblical Theology, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Theology, Ethics
Review by Thomas Krüger
Citation: Thomas Krüger, review of Emily Arndt, Demanding Our Attention: The Hebrew Bible as a Source for Christian Ethics, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2013).
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