By comparing and contrasting the pictures gained from Greek and Mesopotamian cities with Ezekiel’s Jerusalem, Launderville masterfully shows how Ezekiel fosters a type of symbolic thinking focused on making the Israelites into living symbols of God. The Spirit is the reality that connects humans with the cosmic order and enables the workings of the human heart—the place within which reason functions, according to ancient Israelite anthropology. Ezekiel’s symbolic thinking is an integrative rationality in which reason is regarded as operating within the heart through the empowerment and guidance of the Spirit.
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- Discusses genre, historical context, and other features of each text
- Examines excerpts from the Mesopotamian narrative poem Erra and Išum
- Compares Ezekiel’s symbolic thinking to that found in Mesopotamia and Greece
- The Right Ordering of Perception through the Interplay of Spirit and Reason
- The Pure versus the Impure: A Vital Tension within a Living Symbol
- The Heart of the Matter: The Principle of Community
- The Place of Skepticism in Determining the Divinely Willed Order of the World
- The Justice and Tragedy of a Community Beset by Divine and Human Violence
- Death and Afterlife: The Journey into a New Existence or into Nothingness
- Spirit and Holiness: The Embodiment of Divine Order
Praise for the Print Edition
In this ambitious project, Launderville draws out a wealth of fascinating information about the Mesopotamian and pre-Socratic Greek traditions, and puts them into conversation with Ezekiel. His cross-cultural approach to Ezekiel’s use of symbolic language to make meaning is a most welcome addition to the scholarship on this prophetic book.
—Jacqueline Lapsley, associate professor of Old Testament, Princeton Theological Seminary
Launderville has examined a remarkable selection of Ancient Near Eastern and Greek literature and addressed issues that lie outside typical monographs devoted to that prophet. I know no other scholar who has the capacity to work with this scope.
—David Petersen, professor of New Testament, Candler School of Theology at Emory University
- Title: Spirit and Reason: The Embodied Character of Ezekiel’s Symbolic Thinking
- Author: Dale F. Launderville
- Publisher: Baylor University Press
- Publication Date: 2007
- Pages: 475
About Dale F. Launderville
Dale F. Launderville (PhD, The Catholic University of America) is an associate professor of theology at St. John’s School of Theology-Seminary.