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Norman C. Habel
Norman C. Habel

Norman C. Habel is Professorial Fellow, Flinders University, Adelaide, South Australia

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Finding Wisdom in Nature: An Eco-Wisdom Reading of the Book of Job

Published: Sep 2014
£40.00
Wisdom, where can she be found?' This question, at the core of Job 28, is arguably the central question also of the entire book of Job. Where is Wisdom found in Job 28? Habel's answer may be surprising: in the domains and forces of nature, in the ecosystems of the cosmos! And who employs the 'scientific approach' of the ancient Wisdom School to discern this Wisdom? A Sage called God during the process of creation. This key chapter, Job 28, is therefore where Habel begins his ecological commentary, using an approach he designates an eco-wisdom reading. In the preceding 27 chapters of the Book of Job, the focus had seemed to be on the question of where justice could be found. Job has been ready to take God to court in order to find justice. Yet, throughout these chapters there has also been a question about Wisdom, raised by Job and each of his friends, though it has remained churning in the background. When God finally answers Job, God communicates —via nature —about the 'design' of the cosmos. During his journey through the cosmos with his divine mentor, depicted in the divine speeches of Job 38 —41, Job is challenged to discern the 'way,' the 'place' and the inter-relationship of the domains and forces of nature, which is to say, their dynamic innate Wisdom. In his final speech, Job admits he does not know everything and dismisses his plan to take God to court, and the claim for justice lapses. In its place, Job declares he has 'seen' or 'observed' God —presumably in the ecosystems of the cosmos that God has shown him. So the Book of Job ends with his experience of what we may call an 'ecological conversion'.
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Finding Wisdom in Nature: An Eco-Wisdom Reading of the Book of Job

£40.00
Wisdom, where can she be found?' This question, at the core of Job 28, is arguably the central question also of the entire book of Job. Where is Wisdom found in Job 28? Habel's answer may be surprising: in the domains and forces of nature, in the ecosystems of the cosmos! And who employs the 'scientific approach' of the ancient Wisdom School to discern this Wisdom? A Sage called God during the process of creation. This key chapter, Job 28, is therefore where Habel begins his ecological commentary, using an approach he designates an eco-wisdom reading. In the preceding 27 chapters of the Book of Job, the focus had seemed to be on the question of where justice could be found. Job has been ready to take God to court in order to find justice. Yet, throughout these chapters there has also been a question about Wisdom, raised by Job and each of his friends, though it has remained churning in the background. When God finally answers Job, God communicates —via nature —about the 'design' of the cosmos. During his journey through the cosmos with his divine mentor, depicted in the divine speeches of Job 38 —41, Job is challenged to discern the 'way,' the 'place' and the inter-relationship of the domains and forces of nature, which is to say, their dynamic innate Wisdom. In his final speech, Job admits he does not know everything and dismisses his plan to take God to court, and the claim for justice lapses. In its place, Job declares he has 'seen' or 'observed' God —presumably in the ecosystems of the cosmos that God has shown him. So the Book of Job ends with his experience of what we may call an 'ecological conversion'.
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The Birth, the Curse and the Greening of Earth: An Ecological Reading of Genesis 1-11

Published: Oct 2011
£50.00
Few people realize that the first character in the Bible (after the headline sentence of Genesis 1.1) is Earth. What if we read the creation story and the primal myths of Genesis from the perspective of that key character, rather than from the anthropocentric perspective in which our culture has nurtured us? This is the project of Norman Habel's commentary, resisting the long history in Western culture of devaluing, exploiting, oppressing and endangering the Earth. Earth in Genesis first appears wrapped in the primal waters, like an embryo waiting to be born. On the third day of creation it is actually born and comes into existence with its green vegetation as a habitat for life of all kinds. It is hardly a moment before Earth is damaged by human sin and suffers a divine curse, and then must cry out for justice for the blood of Abel it has been compelled to drink. It is an even greater curse when Earth, together with almost all life on Earth, comes near to total annihilation at the Flood. Has Earth brought this fate upon itself, or is it the innocent victim of human wrongdoing? Genesis has God regretting the threat to Earth and its children that the Flood has brought, and vowing to green Earth again, remove the curse, restore the seasons and make a personal covenant of assurance with Earth and its creatures. The ecological approach of this commentary was first developed in the five-volume multi-authored series, The Earth Bible (2000 —2002). In The Earth Bible Commentary, of which this is the first volume, a group of scholars dedicated to the re-valuing of Earth pursue these themes in their commentaries on the books of the Bible.
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The Birth, the Curse and the Greening of Earth: An Ecological Reading of Genesis 1-11

£50.00
Few people realize that the first character in the Bible (after the headline sentence of Genesis 1.1) is Earth. What if we read the creation story and the primal myths of Genesis from the perspective of that key character, rather than from the anthropocentric perspective in which our culture has nurtured us? This is the project of Norman Habel's commentary, resisting the long history in Western culture of devaluing, exploiting, oppressing and endangering the Earth. Earth in Genesis first appears wrapped in the primal waters, like an embryo waiting to be born. On the third day of creation it is actually born and comes into existence with its green vegetation as a habitat for life of all kinds. It is hardly a moment before Earth is damaged by human sin and suffers a divine curse, and then must cry out for justice for the blood of Abel it has been compelled to drink. It is an even greater curse when Earth, together with almost all life on Earth, comes near to total annihilation at the Flood. Has Earth brought this fate upon itself, or is it the innocent victim of human wrongdoing? Genesis has God regretting the threat to Earth and its children that the Flood has brought, and vowing to green Earth again, remove the curse, restore the seasons and make a personal covenant of assurance with Earth and its creatures. The ecological approach of this commentary was first developed in the five-volume multi-authored series, The Earth Bible (2000 —2002). In The Earth Bible Commentary, of which this is the first volume, a group of scholars dedicated to the re-valuing of Earth pursue these themes in their commentaries on the books of the Bible.
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