No other book in the history of civilization has gripped and shaped the world's collective imagination quite like the Bible. Its images, metaphors, and stories possess a unifying theme that speaks to the nature of the human condition in all of its guises. Unlike the other creatures of the earth that live by their primal instincts, humankind lives in a mythical universe. The Bible recognizes this truth; almost every narrative of the Bible, in one way or ather, addresses the nature of our existential predicament. Certainly what is true of the Bible, in general, is especially true with respect to the book of Genesis--a book about our primal beginnings and longings. Merely reading the familiar stories of old without thoughtful or dialogical discourse misses the point of why they were originally told. If the Torah is, as its name suggests, instruction or teaching, then it behooves us to think about the existential depth of this sacred text, which continues to consciously and unconsciously shape the world we live in. As a compendium of sacred wisdom, Genesis addresses nearly every human concern we have experienced since the beginning of recorded history. How we understand our sacred texts matters. Genesis teaches us that our lives are part of a story that began long ago when human beings first wondered about their place. What is the purpose of human existence? How did the world come to be? How do all things interrelate? How should we interact? Genesis presents a symbolic story that addresses these primal questions--one that continues to guide and inspire. Genesis t only describes how all races of people relate to the Divine Presence that fills the universe, but also provides valuable insight as to how each of us are spiritually interconnected. Birth and Rebirth through Genesis: A Timeless Theological Conversation is a compelling Jungian and exegetical exposition of Genesis 1-3.
Michael Leo Samuel writes and lectures at community colleges and seminaries across the country, in addition to leading symposiums on a variety of contemporary theological and social issues. He has spent the last twenty-five years as a pulpit rabbi within the Conservative movement. Rabbi Samuel is a graduate of the Lubavitch Rabbinical Seminary (Yoreh Yoreh, Yadin Yadin) in Brooklyn and Jerusalem and holds a Doctorate of Ministry degree from the San Francisco Theological Seminary (member of the GTU). He is the author of The Lord is My Shepherd: The Theology of the Caring God (Jason Aronson Inc., 1996) and now Birth and Rebirth Through Genesis: A Timeless Theological Conversation, Vol. 1: Genesis 1-3 (Aeon Publishing, 2010).