Onslaught against Innocence

Cain, Abel, and the Yahwist

By Andre LaCocque

Onslaught against Innocence

paperback-logo

  • ISBN: 9781556357893
  • Pages: 188
  • Publication Date: 8/1/2008
  • Retail Price: $24.00
Web Price: $19.20
Web Price: $19.20

Onslaught against Innocence

Cain, Abel, and the Yahwist

By Andre LaCocque

paperback-logo

PAPERBACK

  • ISBN: 9781556357893
  • Pages: 188
  • Publication Date: 8/1/2008
  • Retail Price: $24.00
Web Price: $19.20

About-

Never before has the problem of evil been a more urgent subject for our reflection. The Yahwist confronts the issue through a sequence of stories on the progressive deterioration of the divine-human relationship in Genesis 2-11. In Genesis 4 he narrates the initial slaughter of one human being by another, and strikingly, it is described as fratricidal.
Onslaught Against Innocence: Cain, Abel, and the Yahwist provides a close reading of J's story by using literary criticism and psychological criticism. It shows that the biblical author has more than an "archaeological" design. His characters--including God, Adam, Eve, Cain, and Abel, plus minor characters--are paradigmatic. They allow J to proceed with a fine analytical feel for the nature of evil as performed by "homo" as "homini lupus." No imaginative "mimesis" of evil has ever been recounted with such an economy of means and such depth of psychological insight.

Endorsements & Reviews-

"Among Scripture interpreters, Andre LaCocque is a singular force because of his generative and restless mind that always seeks a new angle on the text. Here he continues his close reading of the early Genesis materials-this time the Cain and Abel narrative. LaCocque is an urbane intellectual who knows the world of myth and the critical claims of psychology. He is, at the same time, a most able and cunning reader of texts. The outcome of his interpretation is a vigorous fresh reading of Genesis 4 as a primal statement of failure and possibility in Western culture. This book is an offer of his rich, suggestive interpretation and an example of how to connect what is ancient and thick to contemporary life."
-Walter Brueggemann, author of A Pathway of Interpretation

"In this remarkable book, Andre LaCocque uses insights from literature, art and psychology to probe the ancient story of Cain and Abel. He argues for a dialogic view of God, which respects human freedom, and he uncovers the roots of human violence in the quest for immortality. This is a first-rate, highly original, contribution to biblical theology.
-John J. Collins, author of Does the Bible Justify Violence?

"The master of a truly extraordinary range of techniques of interpretation, Andre LaCocque is able to extract deep theological, psychological, and moral meanings out of a deceptively simple and often under-interpreted chapter of the Bible. This sophisticated yet accessible book will repay the attention of many types of readers-Jewish or Christian, religious or secular, with training in Biblical Studies or without."
-Jon D. Levenson, author of Creation and the Persistence of Evil

"LaCocque presents a literary-critical analysis of the myth of Cain and Abel, exploring its anthropological, theological, and psychological dimensions. The resources he draws upon are classical exegetical studies, but additionally Ellul, Girard, Jung, Kant, Kierkegaard, Levinas, Nietzsche, Ricoeur, Sartre, and others. Students and scholars-and also the ordinary reader of the Bible-will greatly profit from this book, which I highly recommend to all."
-Walter Vogels, author of Biblical Human Failures

"It was said that William James wrote like a novelist and that his brother, Henry James, wrote like a psychologist. Andre LaCocque writes like both, adding to the mix the perspectives of anthropology, linguistics, historiography, and literary-criticism. Rarely have I stepped into a volume of biblical scholarship with the sense of beginning a journey into undisclosed depths of a tale I had known for years, surrounded by a chorus of voices ranging from Aristotle to Ricoeur, from Freud to Voegelin, from the Yahwist ('the greatest story teller in the Hebrew Bible') to Dostoevsky. The denouement leads to a penetrating, sobering, yet hopeful revisioning of the Cain and Abel saga as a story profoundly embedded within Judaeo-Christian cultural consciousness."
-Wayne G. Rollins, author of Soul and Psyche

Contributors-

Andre LaCocque

Bio(s)-

Andre LaCocque is Professor Emeritus of Old Testament at Chicago Theological Seminary. He is the author of The Trial of Innocence; The Feminine Unconventional; Romance, She Wrote; Esther Regina; and a commentary on Ruth. He is also the coauthor (with Paul Ricoeur) of Thinking Biblically: Exegetical and Hermeneutical Studies.

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