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James L. Kugel, “The Great Shift: Encountering God in Biblical Times” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017)

By Marshall Poe

In a career spanning several decades, James L. Kugel has illuminated the Hebrew Bible from the perspectives of both a biblical scholar of enormous skill and eloquence and as an engaged and imaginative reader. In The Great Shift: Encountering God in Biblical Times (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017), Kugel, Starr Professor Emeritus of Hebrew Literature at Harvard University, consults not only biblical scholarship but neuroscience and anthropology to examine the relationship between conceptions of self and conceptions of God. The way these conceptions shift over time, and the way biblical text itself reflects on these changes, shed new light on changing notions of self and God, and the relationship between these changes. David Gottlieb is a PhD Candidate in the History of Judaism at the University of Chicago Divinity School. His research focuses on interpretations of the Binding of Isaac and the formation of Jewish cultural memory. He can be reached at davidg1@uchicago.edu.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

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