By David M. Carr
Carr’s thought-provoking research demonstrates what percentage of the valuable tenets of biblical faith, together with monotheism and the belief of soreness as God’s retribution, are elements that supplied Judaism and Christianity with the energy and adaptability to suffer within the face of catastrophe. furthermore, the writer explains how the Jewish Bible was once deeply formed by means of the Jewish exile in Babylon, an occasion that it not often describes, and the way the Christian Bible was once likewise formed by means of the unspeakable disgrace of getting a crucified savior.
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Additional info for Holy resilience : the Bible's traumatic origins
After all, the word “trauma” has been increasingly trivialized in recent years, and most studies of trauma have focused on contemporary experiences distant from those of ancient Israel and the church. I have heard the word “trauma” applied to experiences as diverse as genocide and frustration over a bad grade. Some people with whom I have discussed this project even suggested leaving the concept of trauma to the side in this study, focusing only on the story of how historical catastrophes contributed to the writing of the Bible.
But for others the idea of a powerful God, even a judging God, can be reassuring. At least there is a chance to change one’s behavior and be saved. Things can look quite different if the world is totally devoid of God. Then one is truly subject to its most powerful forces, even if they are brutally tyrannical like the Assyrian king. Hosea offered the Israelites an interpretation of their experience, one in which Yahweh had not lost to the Assyrians but was working through them. Yahweh was using the Assyrians as mere puppets as he temporarily chastised his wayward people.
For many modern readers, particularly women or anyone who has been subjected to abuse, these images are repugnant. Even if a woman has been unfaithful to her marriage, most people today would not condone her husband stripping, beating, or starving her. An entire movement has developed in recent decades to offer shelter to battered women and improve legal protection for vulnerable wives. How, one might ask, can one imagine Yahweh as such an angry, jealous, violent, out-of-control husband? And Hosea’s image of redemption—Yahweh promising to take her back—can look like the cycle of abuse sometimes seen in human partnerships.