But not so the God we find in the book of Genesis, the God, a Biography 1, winner of the Pulitzer Prize in the category of biography. To call God: A Biography a misnomer is an understatement. literary character, to interpret God through these varied texts as a Shakespearean scholar would. April ; Knopf; pages. Pulitzer Prize Winner for Biography, Book Description What sort of a "person" is God? What is his "life story"? Is it possible to.
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God: A Biography [Jack Miles] on ruthenpress.info *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE What sort of person is God? What is. It is worth noting, in justification of this work, that no life of. Mr. Rockefeller has yet appeared. Miss Ida Tarb ell's brilliant ac- count of the Standard Oil Company's. Or, Christianity Not as a Mystical Teaching but as a New Concept of Life . “A Christian, according to the teaching of God Himself, can be guided in his relations.
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Subscribe today! Reviews — From the November issue. By Anna Della Subin.
A Biography , by Jack Miles. A Biography, which won the Pulitzer Prize in Just as one might study the character of Hamlet in Shakespeare, Miles aspired to meet God as the protagonist of a great literary classic. If it sounds anthropomorphizing, it was—yet Miles, who trained in Near Eastern languages at Harvard, the Hebrew University, and the Pontifical Gregorian University, strove to be faithful to what is there on the page.
In the s and s, a constellation of critics were reading the Bible as literature—Northrop Frye, Harold Bloom, Frank Kermode, and Robert Alter among them—at an intellectual moment when both God and the author were considered dead.
In , he followed this success with Christ: Seeking to understand the character of the divine protagonist as it changes over the course of the three scriptures, Miles begins from the premise that the deity of Judaism and Christianity is the same God of Islam, the same celestial presiding over the three Abrahamic faiths.
W hat emerged in God: A Biography was a deity riven with contradictions, an Almighty who seemed, terrifyingly, to act first and think after. Theography, it turned out, was like a kind of divine psychoanalysis. One could picture Miles as therapist, his patient reclining on a sofa made from clouds.
God told humankind to be fruitful and multiply, yet he swiftly became full of rage and regret at how we proliferated unchecked. He drowned his creation, only to regret it. Yet by the Book of Numbers, God and the Israelites, bound together in the covenant, had begun to complain about each other incessantly.
For theography, the contradictions are instead evidence of what Miles called divine inner conflict. As polytheism gave way to monotheism, the One accrued the personalities of the gods he encompassed: The same bipolar God would have to create and destroy—raising, for the first time, the problem of evil that the innocent, suffering Job so pitifully invokes. With the fall of Jerusalem and the exile of Israel to Babylon, Miles wrote, God seemed to enter a crisis.
Empires have come and gone, and yet Israel is still under subjugation, now by the Romans. This is easy for God to do, surrounded by well-behaved cherubim, yet less so for man—and so God descends to earth in human form to show us the way. For a minor disobedience involving a certain fruit, God had cursed his creation and invited death into the world. Arriving in the body of a Nazarene peasant, with a pacifist temperament so different from his usual self, God will, in the words of St.
Paul, reconcile the world to himself. In Christ, Miles captured anew the strangeness of a suicidal god, determined to go to earth to kill himself. God, in other words, disarmed himself; the deity who hungered for meat became the sacrificial lamb. The lawgiver became a criminal, taking on the crown of king of the Jews when he knew that, under Roman law, to usurp sovereignty was a capital offense.
According to the Gospel of Luke, the risen Christ encountered two men along the road and narrated to them his story.
In the passages Miles chooses, we see God issuing corrections and revisions to the narrative. Whereas Yahweh experienced events unfolding in human time—he acts and reacts, regrets, learns—Allah removes himself from dank temporality, and speaks of the now, the past, and the hereafter all at once.
It soon becomes apparent that God in the Islamic scriptures essentially rejects the project of theography, insisting on his unknowability at every turn. Yet Miles never quite speaks to this, and the theographer persists in his quest to meet a personified Allah on the page.
And the idol of the golden calf, made of melted jewelry? It could actually bleat, God informs us.
Yahweh may have cursed Cain, but Allah emerges as less vengeful and more compassionate. God never failed his creation; there was no crisis, no need for the drama of the cross, nor any sacrificial god-lamb. God does not share his divinity with anyone; Jesus was only a mortal prophet in the lineage extending from Adam, Abraham, and Moses, to Mohammed, the final messenger.
God makes a major revision in that Jesus did not actually die on the cross. Placing the blame not on the Romans but on Jews who had broken the covenant, God reveals that he foiled their plot: When the Virgin Mary goes into labor beneath a palm tree, alone with no one to help her, in her agony Jesus speaks to her from inside the womb: But in his latest, Miles has a new objective.
Even before we have heard the voice of Allah, or of any Muslim authors, we hear Newt Gingrich, inveighing against jihadi terrorism: He opens with the theme of religious violence. In an odd, orientalizing thought experiment, Miles exhorts his non-Muslim readers to picture themselves Muslim:.
In the Bible, no such warning is given.