In the Beginning
Dianne Bergant

ISBN: 9780814682500, 8250
Details: 240 pgs, 6 x 9
Publication Date: 10/10/2013


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"From the beginning," writes Dianne Bergant, "God has been creating order out of chaos and continues to do so even to our own day." Bergant, one of today's most highly regarded Catholic Scripture scholars, turns her attention to the book of Genesis, highlighting issues of gender, social status, economic class, and integrity of creation. In this important new commentary, Bergant explores the biblical text but also points out some of the social biases of the original community, an awareness that is crucial for an adequate understanding of the text. She offers a wealth of insights into this richly theological narrative.

Dianne Bergant, CSA, is the Carroll Stuhlmueller, CP, Distinguished Professor of Old Testament Studies at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. She is a past president of the Catholic Biblical Association. Her many books include Scripture: History and Interpretation, the two New Collegeville Bible Commentary volumes on Psalms, and the two-volume Israel's Story, all from Liturgical Press.

In many programs of Bible study for adults, the tendency to want to reduce the biblical text to a simple and familiar message looms large. In her book Genesis: In The Beginning, Dianne Bergant does what she does so well: she keeps before the reader the many and varied elements that must be employed when approaching the Bible for understanding. Although not intended as a book for adult Bible study, the point is made that if one wishes to advance beyond a simple reading, the serious learner must come to realize the text cannot be separated from the world that produced it. The reader must take into account how that 'world behind the text' and the 'world of the text' provide the necessary context for being able to discover meaning in this living word of God that has relevance for us today.
Barbara Shanahan, Director of the Catholic Biblical School, Buffalo, New York

"Combining as it does current scholarly insights with theological sensitivity and pastoral wisdom, Genesis: In the Beginning is a commentary that all serious readers of the book of Genesis will want to have on their shelves."
Amanda W. Benckhuysen, Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology

At last, a Genesis commentary written by a woman! Dianne Bergant fills in gaps in Genesis interpretation by attending to the many women in this biblical book. She also draws from her work as a theologian of creation to highlight the integrity of all life in the divinely created cosmos. Her writing is beautiful and clear, and she uses scholarship without drowning us in it. Genesis: In the Beginning will be terrific for use in classrooms, study groups, and by any serious readers of Genesis. Bergant's book is a cause for celebration.
Kathleen M. O'Connor, William Marcellus McPheeters Professor of Old Testament, Emerita, Columbia Theological Seminary, Decatur, Georgia