Imatge de l'autor
34+ obres 6,547 Membres 41 Ressenyes

Sobre l'autor

Michael Coogan is director of publications for the Harvard Semitic Museum and professor emeritus of religious studies at Stonehill College. He has also taught at Harvard Divinity School, Wellesley College, and elsewhere. He is the author of The Old Testament: A Historical and Literary Introduction mostra'n més to the Hebrew Scriptures, The Old Testament: A Very Short Introduction, and A Reader of Ancient Near Eastern Texts: Sources for the Study of the Old Testament and the editor of The New Oxford Annotated Bible. His most recent book is The Ten Commandments: A Short History of an Ancient Text. mostra'n menys

Obres de Michael D. Coogan

The Oxford History of the Biblical World (1998) — Editor — 822 exemplars, 3 ressenyes
Stories from Ancient Canaan (1978) — Editor; Traductor — 278 exemplars, 3 ressenyes
The Old Testament: A Very Short Introduction (2008) 250 exemplars, 2 ressenyes
The Illustrated Guide to World Religions (1998) — Editor — 202 exemplars, 1 ressenya
God and Sex: What the Bible Really Says (2010) 149 exemplars, 15 ressenyes
Eastern Religions: Hinduism, Buddism, Taoism, Confucianism, Shinto (1997) — Editor — 107 exemplars, 2 ressenyes
The Oxford Guide to the Bible (1993) — Editor; Editor — 90 exemplars, 1 ressenya

Obres associades

The Religions Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained (2013) — Col·laborador — 492 exemplars, 3 ressenyes
NOVA: Secrets of Noah's Ark [2015 TV episode] (2015) — Self — 2 exemplars


Coneixement comú



Sweeping across broad expanses of time, this book begins with the Upper Paleolithic (43,000-18,000 BCE) and its semipermanent settlements in what we now call the Middle East and ends with the Arab conquest of Jerusalem in 638 CE. Intended to be a survey of archeological, textual, and linguistic scholarship, the book synthesizes scholarly research to help the reader understand the context in which the religion of biblical Israel and later Judaism and Christianity developed.

Whenever I read, I recall wise advice from Mortimer Adler in his book How to Read a Book - try to remove yourself from your modern way of thinking and imagine yourself as a person living in the time and place of the characters you are reading about. What would you see and hear? How would you react? When I read the Bible, I felt that I was gaining more knowledge, yet I couldn’t conjure up the sense of relatedness that I felt when reading books like the Epic of Gilgamesh or the Odyssey. There were some biblical stories that moved me either to tears or to anger - but in none was I able to really imagine myself there. I decided to veer slightly off the track of Bloom’s Western Canon and delve into books that provide context for the biblical world. After reading this book, I realized that part of the problem is sweep. The biblical world and its history cover thousands of years and a diverse set of peoples, languages, and religious beliefs. Trying to imagine oneself in the context of the biblical world is like imagining oneself in the expanse of modern time. I could no less imagine myself in the same book as a Renaissance woman and Sally Ride - both of whom lived in a far shorter period of time than the span of the biblical world. In a way, reading The Oxford History of the Biblical World gave a sense of relief.

It is the Israeli religion, which later developed into what we call Judaism that dominates the book. From the earliest creation stories to the overthrow of Jerusalem by the Muslims, the authors show how the religious and legal system of the Jews developed. The book puts each of the Bible’s books in their contemporary contexts. This helps the reader see connections to the broader world in a geography that spanned from Arabia to North Africa and from India to Spain in the Old Testament and from Asia Minor to Italy in the New Testament.

I learned much about the context and development of both Judaism and Christianity. For example, long before Christianity became a separate religion, to the far-away ruling elite in Rome, it would have been indistinguishable from the religion of Israel. If the emperor knew about it at all, and it’s likely that he didn’t, it would have been considered an extremely small, localized movement within the Israeli religion. That it developed into the world’s most popular religion is a testament to the power of its message of redemption and to the brilliance of the early church leaders who codified the texts and built a structure that has endured ever since.

I read this book after I read Robin Lane Fox’s Unauthorized Version. I will review that book separately. But in comparison, the Oxford History is more cut and dry with a serious, scholarly voice. Fox covers similar material but with a twinkle in his eye. For pure enjoyment, his is the superior book. But for sheer breadth and reference, the Oxford book is the one to keep on the shelf.
… (més)
Mortybanks | Hi ha 2 ressenyes més | Jan 14, 2024 |
Ressenya escrita per a Crítics Matiners de LibraryThing .
I read this for what it was intended, a light-hearted book about trying to understand how to communicate with men. However, this was super simplistic and really didn't provide any usable information. I also didn't feel that I could use this to evaluate the "type" of man I may be interacting with - maybe this is a better fit for those on the Fortune 500 track? Overall I was somewhat disappointed in the lack of insight I received from reading this.
Mirandalg14 | Hi ha 1 ressenya més | Jul 18, 2023 |
What is truly remarkable about this survey of the world's religions is that there is no mention of
Indonesia or Borobudur - the largest Buddhist monument in the world - nor of Java or Indonesia,
the most populous Muslim-majority country in the world!
Alhickey1 | May 14, 2023 |
Ressenya escrita per a Crítics Matiners de LibraryThing .
The authors go to great lengths at the beginning of the book to point out that the book is not for everyone. Apparently, it is not for me as i don’t share their humour. I also found the construct very difficult and frustrating to read but I gave the fellows their opportunity to impress me. Since others may find the book more to their taste, I choose to review it on our website and not on Amazon or Goodreads.
Seaside-Reader | Hi ha 1 ressenya més | Aug 6, 2022 |



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