With All Thine Heart
190 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/2
10 illustrations
Hardcover
Release Date:11 Aug 2010
ISBN:9780813547978
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With All Thine Heart

Love and the Bible

Rutgers University Press
Is the Bible actually a love story between a deity and a people? And what does this love story have to do with the modern world? In With All Thine Heart distinguished cultural critic Ilan Stavans speaks to freelance writer Mordecai Drache about love in the Bible.

Presented in an engaging, conversational format and touched with striking artwork, the textured dialogue between Stavans and Drache is meant to show how the Bible is a multidimensional text and one that, when considered over the course of history, still has the power to shape our world. The theme of love provides the connective tissue that binds this work.

Addressing a wide range of topics, from biblical archaeology and fundamentalism to Hollywood movies, lexicography, and the act of praying, With All Thine Heart suggests that the Hebrew Bible is a novel worth decoding patiently, such as one does with classics like Don Quixote de la Mancha, In Search of Lost Time, and Anna Karenina.  Similar to the protagonists in these tales, biblical characters, although not shaped with the artistic nuance of modern literature, allow for astonishing insight. This exploration of love through the pages of the Bible—organized chronologically from Genesis to Exodus and followed by insightful meditations on the Song of Songs and the Book of Job—is a  delightful intellectual and spiritual treat . . . Shema Ysrael!
In these fascinating conversations, a brilliant literary scholar turns his meticulous attention to familiar texts of the Jewish Bible that speak of love and human emotion. What results is a uniqueness of perception, as well as a transforming experience for the reader.
Sherwin B. Nuland, author of How We Die
An essential topic, scrutinized with profound knowledge, insight, and acuity. A wonderful, precious book.


Norman Manea, author of The Hooligan's Return
Ilan Stavans bites into the apple and invites us to share the fruit of his knowledge. The perfect guide to the Biblical universe, he spins brilliant metaphors that help us re-envision not only the timeless tales but also our own time-bound world.

Ruth Knafo Setton, author of The Road to Fez
Stavan's thoughts flow freely in response to a question and overall the form is delightfully jazzy. The brilliant Stavans redeems the culturally maligned term 'humanist'. With all Thine Heart twists and turns between Stavans's views of God, descriptions of works of art, psychological analyses, and etymological explanations. It can be dizzying at times, yet the exercise is as fascinating as the topic itself. Publishers Weekly
ILAN STAVANS  is Lewis-Sebring Professor in Latin American and Latino Culture at Amherst College. He is an award-winning author and editor of many books, including Love and Language, Resurrecting Hebrew, Gabriel García Márquez: The Early Years, and The Oxford Book of Jewish Stories.

MORDECAI DRACHE is a freelance writer, poet, and contributing editor to Zeek: A Jewish Journal of Thought and Culture.
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