Eros and the Jews: From Biblical Israel to Contemporary America

University of California Press, 3 oct. 1997 - 334 pages
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Contradictory stereotypes about Jewish sexuality pervade modern culture, from Lenny Bruce's hip eroticism to Woody Allen's little man with the big libido (and even bigger sexual neurosis). Does Judaism in fact liberate or repress sexual desire? David Biale does much more than answer that question as he traces Judaism's evolving position on sexuality, from the Bible and Talmud to Zionism up through American attitudes today. What he finds is a persistent conflict between asceticism and gratification, between procreation and pleasure.

From the period of the Talmud onward, Biale says, Jewish culture continually struggled with sexual abstinence, attempting to incorporate the virtues of celibacy, as it absorbed them from Greco-Roman and Christian cultures, within a theology of procreation. He explores both the canonical writings of male authorities and the alternative voices of women, drawing from a fascinating range of sources that includes the Book of Ruth, Yiddish literature, the memoirs of the founders of Zionism, and the films of Woody Allen.

Biale's historical reconstruction of Jewish sexuality sees the present through the past and the past through the present. He discovers an erotic tradition that is not dogmatic, but a record of real people struggling with questions that have challenged every human culture, and that have relevance for the dilemmas of both Jews and non-Jews today.

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EROS AND THE JEWS: From Biblical Israel to Contemporary America

Avis d'utilisateur  - Kirkus

A scholarly study of Jewish sexuality that is neither sexy nor particularly Jewish. Here, Biale (Power and Powerlessness in Jewish History, 1986) appears to have lost his way in the murkier realms of ... Consulter l'avis complet

Eros and the Jews: from Biblical Israel to contemporary America

Avis d'utilisateur  - Not Available - Book Verdict

This engaging history of Jewish sexuality from biblical times to the modern era attempts to answer this question: Is the nature of Judaism and the Jewish tradition ascetic and repressive or sensual ... Consulter l'avis complet

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Table des matières

Sexual Subversions in the Bible
Law and Desire in the Talmud
Rabbinic Authority and Popular Culture in Medieval Europe
Sensuality Asceticism and Medieval Jewish Philosophy
Sexuality and Spirituality in the Kabbalah
The Displacement of Desire in EighteenthCentury Hasidism
Eros and Enlightenment
Zionism as an Erotic Revolution
Sexual Stereotypes in American Jewish Culture
Creating Desire
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À propos de l'auteur (1997)

David Biale is Koret Professor of Jewish History and Director of the Center for Jewish Studies at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. He is the author of Gershom Scholem: Kabbalah and Counter-History (1979) and Power and Powerlessness in Jewish History (1986), both of which won the National Jewish Book Award.

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