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Song of Songs Through the Centuries

ISBN: 9781405152815 | 1405152818
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Inc
Pub. Date: 11/14/2016

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The object of this commentary is to write a poetic, mystical and erotic history of the Song of Songs. In Jewish tradition, the Song of Songs is "the holy of holies," the sexual heart of the relationship between God and Israel; in Christianity it is a major source for the mystical and musical devotion to Mary as the spouse of God, and for the cultivation of ecstatic union with Christ. The Song has had an enormous influence on Western art, poetry and music, largely because of its anomalous status as a beautiful and subversive love poem in the religiously authoritative and straitlaced text of the Bible. It also endures because of the extraordinary richness of its metaphors and its powerful evocation of the sensations and emotions of lovers. The proposed commentary will be dialogic in two senses. In the first instance, it will be a dialogue between the interpreter and the text, drawing into itself the voices and refractions the text has acquired through its history. Second, it will take the form of an indirect, allusive dialogue between the collaborators. This is aimed, initially, at bringing the two typically divided traditions they represent (Judaism and Christianity) into conversation. In addition, this second aspect of the dialogue aims to reflect something of the text under consideration. In it, the lovers are engaged in rapid-fire verbal exchanges, which cast and recast elaborate metaphors to describe each other, the world around them and their search for love. Their dialogue, over the years, has drawn readers into its midst, creating a conversation that does not end with the book's last chapter, but reaches its fullness in the interpretive tradition.

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