God and Sex

God and Sex

What the Bible Really Says

Book - 2010
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For several decades, Michael Coogan's introductory course on the Old Testament has been a perennial favorite among students at Harvard University. In God and Sex, Coogan examines one of the most controversial aspects of the Hebrew Scripture: What the Old Testament really says about sex, and how contemporary understanding of those writings is frequently misunderstood or misrepresented. In the engaging and witty voice generations of students have appreciated, Coogan explores the language and social world of the Bible, showing how much innuendo and euphemism is at play, and illuminating the sexuality of biblical figures as well as God. By doing so, Coogan reveals the immense gap between popular use of Scripture and its original context. God and Sex is certain to provoke, entertain, and enlighten readers.



Publisher: New York : Twelve, 2010
ISBN: 9780446545259
Branch Call Number: 220.83067 COO
Characteristics: xvi, 224 p. : ill. : 22 cm

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j
jmikesmith
Dec 22, 2010

This was a clear, concise discussion of statements in the Bible that pertain to the status of women, marriage, banned sexual practices, and God's wives (yes, the Bible says that God had a wife or two and fathered children). The point that author Coogan is trying to make is that the Bible was written by human beings living in a certain place at a certain time, in the midst of a certain culture. Everything in the Bible must be understood in the context of the language and cultural expectations of its writers.
For example, the Bible is overwhelmingly patriarchal. Women are little better than the property of their fathers or husbands. Having sex with anyone other than your wife or a prostitute is prohibited not because of how it affects the woman but because it is effectively a property crime against the man who controls that woman.
Coogan points out that is impossible to live strictly according to the Bible because it contradicts itself in many places. Ultimately, we must determine what the underlying philosophy is and try to adapt that to our own times and cultures.

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