In the biblical canon, two books lack any explicit reference to the name of God: Song of Songs and Esther. God’s peculiar absence in these texts is unsettling, both for theological discourse and for believers considering implications for their own lived experience.
Chloe T. Sun takes on the challenges of God’s absence by exploring the often overlooked theological connections between these two Old Testament books. In Conspicuous in His Absence, Sun examines and reflects on the Song of Songs and Esther using theological interpretation. She addresses three main questions: What is the nature of God as revealed in texts that don’t use his name? How do we think of God when he is perceived to be absent? What should we do when God is silent or hidden?
The experience of God’s absence or silence is an important part of the human condition. By exploring the distinct themes and perspectives of Song of Songs and Esther, as well as how they’ve been received in Jewish and Christian history, Sun demonstrates how both books serve as counter texts to the depiction of God and his work in the rest of the Hebrew Scriptures. Thus both contribute to a fuller picture of who God is and what it means to know him.
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