Books: Seeing God’s face

A Tel Aviv University professor attempts to understand how we anthropomorphize deities.

By YAEL UNTERMAN
April 27, 2016 16:53
4 minute read.
'The Ancient of Days,’

'The Ancient of Days,’ a 1794 watercolor etching by William Blake. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

 
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In The Sensual God, Aviad Kleinberg, a professor of medieval history at Tel Aviv University, sets out to explore religious attempts to put into words the indescribable, and to attribute images, senses and corporeality to what ought to be beyond such attributions.

The author himself does not believe in God. His parents, who survived the Holocaust, taught him “disbelief in a God of justice is a moral duty.” Yet he is inexorably attracted to sacred texts, for they are “unabashedly engrossed in the sublime” – and so is he, in his own fashion.

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