This new series presents innovative titles pertaining to human
origins, evolution, and behavior from a multi-disciplinary
perspective. Subject areas include but are not limited to
biological and physical anthropology, prehistoric archaeology,
evolutionary psychology, behavioral ecology, and evolutionary
biology. The series volumes will be of interest primarily to
students and scholars in these fields.
Human bodily existence is at the core of the Torah and the rest
of the Hebrew Scriptures -- from birth to death. From God's
creation of Adam out of clay, to the narratives of priests and
kings whose regulations governed bodily practices, the Hebrew Bible
focuses on the human body. Moreover, ancient Israel's understanding
of the human body has greatly influenced both Judaism and
Christianity. Despite this pervasive influence, ancient Israel's
view of the human body has rarely been studied and, until now, has
been poorly understood.
In this beautifully written book, Jon L. Berquist guides the
reader through the Hebrew Bible, examining ancient Israel's ideas
of the body, the unstable roles of gender, the deployment of
sexuality, and the cultural practices of the time. Conducting his
analysis with reference to contemporary theories of the body,
power, and social control, Berquist offers not only a description
and clarification of ancient Israelite views of the body, but also
an analysis of how these views belong to the complex logic of
ancient social meanings. When this logic is understood, the
familiar Bible becomes strange and opens itself to a wide range of
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