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by Leon R. Kass
Download The Beginning of Wisdom: Reading Genesis fb2
Bible Study & Reference
  • Author:
    Leon R. Kass
  • ISBN:
    0743242998
  • ISBN13:
    978-0743242998
  • Genre:
  • Publisher:
    Free Press / Simon & Schuster; 1st edition (May 20, 2003)
  • Pages:
    720 pages
  • Subcategory:
    Bible Study & Reference
  • Language:
  • FB2 format
    1967 kb
  • ePUB format
    1768 kb
  • DJVU format
    1163 kb
  • Rating:
    4.8
  • Votes:
    237
  • Formats:
    lrf mobi lit doc


The Beginning of Wisdom is a hugely learned book that, like Genesis itself, falls naturally into two sections.

The Beginning of Wisdom is a hugely learned book that, like Genesis itself, falls naturally into two sections. The first shows how the universal history described in the first eleven chapters of Genesis, from creation to the tower of Babel, conveys, in the words of Leon Kass, "a coherent anthropology" - a general teaching about human nature - that "rivals anything produced by the great philosophers

Genesis allows its readers a greater freedom to ponder its meaning than the other books of the Pentateuch. And Kass has taken full advantage of that freedom to ponder the idea of human nature in Genesis. What he says in this regard is rich and profound. David Novak, New Republic.

Genesis allows its readers a greater freedom to ponder its meaning than the other books of the Pentateuch. A learned and fluent, delightfully overstuffed stroll through the Gates of Eden. Mix Harold Bloom with Stephen Jay Gould and you'll get something like Kass. A wonderfully intelligent reading of Genesis. The Beginning of Wisdom.

The Beginning of Wisdom is a wondrous product resulting from many years of teaching and reflection on the book of Genesis by biochemist and ethicist, Leon Kass. Rather than using theological or literary approaches, Kass extracts meaning from the Bible with a philosophical and wisdom seeking spirit

The Beginning of Wisdom book. And as Leon R. Kass shows in The Beginning of Wisdom, it’s also timeless

The Beginning of Wisdom book. Kass shows in The Beginning of Wisdom, it’s also timeless. Examining Genesis in a philosophical light, Kass presents it not as a story of what happened long ago, but as the enduring story of humanity itself. He asserts that the first half of Genesis As ardent debates over creationism fill the front pages of newspapers, Genesis has never been more timely.

New York : Free Press. Books for People with Print Disabilities. Internet Archive Books. Delaware County District Library (Ohio).

The Beginning of Wisdom’. This book offers a philosophic reading of the book of Genesis

The Beginning of Wisdom’. This book offers a philosophic reading of the book of Genesis. Addressed to believers and nonbelievers alike, it should be of special interest to thoughtful children of skeptics, people who (like the author) now have good reason to want to see for themselves and to learn firsthand what it was and is that their parents or grandparents rejected. For though we are knowledgeable, powerful, and privileged with opportunities beyond our ancestors' wildest dreams, many of us remain psychically, morally, and spiritually adrift.

And as Leon R. Kass shows in The Beginning of Wisdom, i. .The Beginning of Wisdom is a wondrous product resulting from many years of teaching and reflection on the book of Genesis by biochemist and ethicist, Leon Kass

And as Leon R.The Beginning of Wisdom is a wondrous product resulting from many years of teaching and reflection on the book of Genesis by biochemist and ethicist, Leon Kass. Rather than using theological or literary approaches, Kass extracts meaning from the Bible with a philosophical and wisdom seeking spirit

Kass, Leon R. Bibliographic Citation. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003. Why Genesis: Why Now? A Conversation With Leon Kass .

Kass, Leon R. Fradkin, Hillel; Kass, Leon; Weigel, George; Jacobs, Alan; Wieseltier, Leon (2004-02). Related Items in Google Scholar.

Kass's approach is to investigate Genesis from a philosophical perspective, that is to say, to approach it with . At 700 pages this is a long book.

Kass's approach is to investigate Genesis from a philosophical perspective, that is to say, to approach it with the expectation that it will speak to those who wish to acquire the wisdom necessary to live an enlightened life in the 21st century. The moral perspective of Genesis, and how this challenges much that is crass in western (American) culture, is a major thread woven by Kass throughout his book.

The Beginning of Wisdom: Reading Genesis (Paperback). Even readers who don't agree with Kass's interpretations will find "The Beginning of Wisdom" a compelling book - a masterful philosophical take on one of the world's seminal religious texts

The Beginning of Wisdom: Reading Genesis (Paperback). Leon R. Kass (author). Even readers who don't agree with Kass's interpretations will find "The Beginning of Wisdom" a compelling book - a masterful philosophical take on one of the world's seminal religious texts.

Imagine that you could really understand the Bible...that you could read, analyze, and discuss the book of Genesis not as a compositional mystery, a cultural relic, or a linguistic puzzle palace, or even as religious doctrine, but as a philosophical classic, precisely in the same way that a truth-seeking reader would study Plato or Nietzsche. Imagine that you could be led in your study by one of America's preeminent intellectuals and that he would help you to an understanding of the book that is deeper than you'd ever dreamed possible, that he would reveal line by line, verse by verse the incredible riches of this illuminating text -- one of the very few that actually deserve to be called seminal. Imagine that you could get, from Genesis, the beginning of wisdom.

The Beginning of Wisdom is a hugely learned book that, like Genesis itself, falls naturally into two sections. The first shows how the universal history described in the first eleven chapters of Genesis, from creation to the tower of Babel, conveys, in the words of Leon Kass, "a coherent anthropology" -- a general teaching about human nature -- that "rivals anything produced by the great philosophers." Serving also as a mirror for the reader's self-discovery, these stories offer profound insights into the problematic character of human reason, speech, freedom, sexual desire, the love of the beautiful, pride, shame, anger, guilt, and death. Something as seemingly innocuous as the monotonous recounting of the ten generations from Adam to Noah yields a powerful lesson in the way in which humanity encounters its own mortality. In the story of the tower of Babel are deep understandings of the ambiguous power of speech, reason, and the arts; the hazards of unity and aloneness; the meaning of the city and its quest for self-sufficiency; and man's desire for fame, immortality, and apotheosis -- and the disasters these necessarily cause. Against this background of human failure, Part Two of The Beginning of Wisdom explores the struggles to launch a new human way, informed by the special Abrahamic covenant with the divine, that might address the problems and avoid the disasters of humankind's natural propensities. Close, eloquent, and brilliant readings of the lives and educations of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Jacob's sons reveal eternal wisdom about marriage, parenting, brotherhood, education, justice, political and moral leadership, and of course the ultimate question: How to live a good life? Connecting the two "parts" is the book's overarching philosophical and pedagogical structure: how understanding the dangers and accepting the limits of human powers can open the door to a superior way of life, not only for a solitary man of virtue but for an entire community -- a life devoted to righteousness and holiness. This extraordinary book finally shows Genesis as a coherent whole, beginning with the creation of the natural world and ending with the creation of a nation that hearkens to the awe-inspiring summons to godliness.

A unique and ambitious commentary, a remarkably readable literary exegesis and philosophical companion, The Beginning of Wisdom is one of the most important books in decades on perhaps the most important -- and surely the most frequently read -- book of all time.


Quamar
If you are interested in exploring what the study of Genesis can tell you about human nature, this is the book to get. I can't say that I agree with Kass on everything, but that's really not the point on reading a book like this. This is a 650+ page book explaining Genesis; of course a reader isn't going to agree with him on everything. Kass highlights the *questions* that one should ask and then he delivers in clear writing and analysis his philosophical interpretation of the passages in question. He pays careful attention to the text to explore the nature of human beings, not so much at the historical or cultural circumstances at the time of the writing. In so doing, Kass seeks to find the eternal and the universal in humanity. Unlike some authors who may hide behind ambiguity,, Kass doesn't hide a thing.

In particular, I was drawn to this book because of my confusion and almost obsession to find a clear explanation of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Kass does just that. First, he explains that the original Hebrew is not "good and evil," but rather "good and bad." The word, "bad" in Hebrew encompasses not only moral good and bad (good and evil) but also all the other bads - pain, sickness, calamity, financial loss, etc. This changes the starting point for understanding the tree, and as such changes the interpretation. I have three Bibles, all of which describe the tree as the tree of knowledge of good and evil. If you start from that premise, you start incorrectly. This is just one small example of the insight that Kass provides. This is a book not to be read, but studied. And by studying it the reader will be drawn to even more resources to understand the phenomenal book of Genesis.
Tiv
The Beginning of Wisdom is a wondrous product resulting from many years of teaching and reflection on the book of Genesis by biochemist and ethicist, Leon Kass. This book makes Genesis accessible for those who perhaps depend too greatly on rationalization and struggle with faith. Rather than using theological or literary approaches, Kass extracts meaning from the Bible with a philosophical and wisdom seeking spirit. The resulting work is an enjoyable feast of a multitude of insights about human nature, marriage, families, politics, etc.

`The Beginning of Wisdom' is broken into two parts. The first part is more abstract and metaphorical since it focuses on stories from the Garden of Eden to the Tower of Babel. The tone of the second part, which focuses on Abraham and his descendents, is more explanatory and reads like play-by-play commentary.

When it comes to Biblical exegesis a reader should always be skeptical of one persons interpretation especially if they're unfamiliar with their work. Fortunately I found Kass' conclusions well reasoned, albeit a little verbose. With some editing the book could've been cut down to 500 or even 400 pages but Kass' detailed analysis and conversational tone compels the reader to commit through his 700pg text. Rarely does Kass make wild extrapolations never deviating from what is explicitly stated in the Bible. If he does, he admits as he did when he tried to draw connections between the creation story and Darwinism, but what would you expect from a biochemist?

On a side note, one of the downsides of the growing secularization of society is that many discard the Bible as a sexist relic of ancient superstition. As Kass reinforces with his book, nothing can be further from the truth. Even for the atheist with an open mind, the Bible can serve as tremendously rich source of wisdom that can teach us about who we are as self-conscious creatures struggling to make sense out of our existence.

This book is highly recommended.
Glei
I'm not finished reading this. It is slow going because I am learning so much on every page. If you are interested in understanding the book of Genesis, this is where to start (and probably finish).
Mojind
Unique information that is interesting, but challenging. Mr. Kass does not seem to believe the Bible is divinely inspired as I do, but he has some valid conclusions and inferences about Genesis that I agree with and which are not typically included in nominal Bible studies.
Kit
Erudite, insightful, precisely crafted - it's a gem.

It deservedly establishes the Bible in the first rank of wisdom literature.

For a life-long student of the Bible to read a book that is as enlightening and engrossing as this is a true joy.
Coidor
A must read for anyone interested in going beyond the literal text of Genesis.
Fecage
An extraordinary commentary on Genesis. Every word undergoes Dr. Kass' scrutiny. He also introduces us to other, little known scholars(Robert Sacks) and the total text is a pure joy.
very interesting and informative book