The Sensual God: How the Senses Make the Almighty Senseless by Aviad M. Kleinberg

By Aviad M. Kleinberg

Within the outdated testomony, God wrestles with a guy (and loses). within the Talmud, God wriggles his feet to make thunder and takes human shape to shave the king of Assyria. within the New testomony, God is made flesh and dwells between people. For non secular thinkers knowledgeable in Greek philosophy and its deep distaste for subject, sacred scripture may be distressing. A philosophically decent God can be untainted by way of sensuality, but the God of sacred texts is frequently embarrassingly sensual. atmosphere experts' minds relaxed was once neither effortless nor basic, and, typically, religion and good judgment have been stretched to their limits. targeting examples from either Christian and Jewish assets, from the Bible to the past due center a while, Aviad Kleinberg examines the way in which Christian and Jewish philosophers, exegetes, and theologians tried to reconcile God’s intended ineffability with quite a few biblical and post-biblical money owed of seeing, listening to, smelling, touching, or even tasting the almighty. The conceptual entanglements ensnaring spiritual thinkers, and the unusual, creative recommendations they used to extricate themselves, let us know anything profound approximately human wishes and divine attributes, approximately religion, wish, and cognitive dissonance.

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Rather, elaborate attempts are undertaken to treat them as if they have certain interests (and in some cases rights) that should be respected. Yet any attempt to discern how a particular fetus, anencephalic infant or patient in a persistent vegetative state might want to be treated is an imaginative exercise. Moreover, it is an exercise conducted within differing social and political contexts, accounting for the wide range of moral practices and laws within various liberal regimes governing such issues as abortion, infanticide and euthanasia.

Fetuses, anencephalic infants and patients in a persistent vegetative state, for example, do not have the ability to express how they want to or should be treated. Yet those exercising custodial care are usually not at liberty to regard them as property to be disposed of as such. Rather, elaborate attempts are undertaken to treat them as if they have certain interests (and in some cases rights) that should be respected. Yet any attempt to discern how a particular fetus, anencephalic infant or patient in a persistent vegetative state might want to be treated is an imaginative exercise.

These protests are purposely pointless, other than as a medium for venting rage, because any reforms generated are by definition ignoble and therefore not worth pursuing. Consequently, the principal conflict among anarchists is over the volume of volatile energy that should be expended in their admittedly pointless gestures. The latter represents a sectarian strategy of creating an alternative reality. Despite late liberalism’s pervasive influence, small, isolated niches can be carved out. Within the borders of these tiny enclaves courageous individuals may live noble lives, while ignoring, as much as possible, the surrounding banality in which they are encased.

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