I am reading Jon Levenson’s The Love of God.
Today I want to cover two points that derive from Levenson’s teaching experience. When a writer can bring real world experience–okay, sometimes it is a stretch to call universities the real world–to a book about theological ideas, I think that is helpful.
One of these points relates to the Hebrew Bible calling God a jealous God. This is a hard concept even after noting that some of the rabbis have explained that God, unlike people, is in control of his jealousy and not driven by it.
This is particularly a hard concept against the background of world religions and multiculturalism today. So Levenson mentions that a Hindu student asked this question of him: “Why is God so jealous?” This is a problem that probably mystifies many connected with Asian religion and culture. Often, in those cultures there is an openness…
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