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A Human Shaped God, A Human-Shaped God, Theology of An Embodied God, A Human-Shaped God Theology of an Embodied God, A Human Shaped God Theology of an Embodied God, Embodied God Theology, God as Human, God in Human Shape, Humanlike God, Human God in the Old Testament, God in the Old Testament, Charles Halton, Halton Human Shaped God, Halton Human-Shaped God, Human God Theology;F2021
A Human-Shaped God

Theology of an Embodied God

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Westminster John Knox Press
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Winner of the 2024 Grawemeyer Award in Religion for the best new idea in religion.

A Human-Shaped God approaches the humanlike accounts of God in the Old Testament as the starting places for theology and uses them to build a picture of the divine. This understanding of God is then brought into conversation with traditional conceptions that depict God as a being who knows everything that happens, is at every place at the same time, is constant and unchanging, and does not ultimately have material form. But instead of pitting the Old Testament’s humanlike view of God against traditional theology and assuming that only one of these understandings is correct, A Human-Shaped God posits that theologians should embrace both of these constructions simultaneously. This is a new way of theological inquiry that embraces both the humanlike characteristics of God and the transcendence of God in traditional theology. By seeing and understanding the humanlike depictions of God in the Old Testament and by using the rich language of traditional theology together in tandem, the reader acquires a much deeper and meaningful understanding of God.

Halton explores "an underappreciated view of God that exists in the Bible but is absent from most Eurocentric theology," said Tyler Mayfield, who directs the Grawemeyer religion award. "His approach is original, thought-provoking and offers new opportunities for understanding the biblical God."

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Charles Halton is External Affiliate at the Centre of the Social- Scientific Study of the Bible at St. Mary's University, Twickenham. He formerly served as an assistant professor of theology at Houston Baptist University, taught Old Testament and Semitic languages at Southern Seminary, and was a fellow of the Advanced Seminar in the Humanities in Venice, Italy. He was a Founder, Managing Editor, and Director of Media for the Marginalia Review of Books, a magazine of intellectual culture and a channel of the Los Angeles Review of Books. He currently serves as the editor of Genesis: History, Fiction, or Neither? and coauthor, editor, and translator (with Saana Sv�rd) of Women's Writing of Ancient Mesopotamia: An Anthology of the Earliest Female Authors. He translated the cuneiform collection of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh and has contributed to various academic journals, including the Journal of Biblical Literature, Ancient Near Eastern Studies, and the Cuneiform Digital Library Notes. He has also contributed to publications including the monograph Reading Akkadian Hymns and Prayers and The Dictionary of the Old Testament: Wisdom, Poetry & Writings.
A Human-Shaped God...
Theology of an Emb...
by Westminster John Knox Press
Charles Halton
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“Charles Halton has written a bold, wide-ranging exposition concerning the imaginative, constructive dynamics of doing theology. His more specific, granular analysis concerns the way of language in the rendering of God in the Old Testament. This exposition moves in two riffs concerning, in turn, the ‘body parts’ of Israel’s humanly rendered God and the emotive practices attributed to God. The sustained insistence of the biblical text, fully appreciated by Halton, is that God is rendered to be jarringly and winsomely ‘humanlike’!”—Walter Brueggemann, William Marcellus McPheeters Professor Emeritus of Old Testament, Columbia Theological Seminary


“Halton cuts incisively through the thickets surrounding our biblical understandings of God, frees them from our misconceptions, and puts them in service to serious, intelligible, and compelling theology. A Human-Shaped God is a gift to those who care about what kind of a God the Bible offers us.” —Jacqueline E. Lapsley, Dean and Vice President of Academic Affairs and Professor of Old Testament, Princeton Theological Seminary

A Human-Shaped God offers a readable, deeply humane presentation of the embodied biblical God, and it makes a daring constructive case for the relevance of that human-like God to our lives today.” - Scottish Journal of Theology

"Halton’s proposal is bold, and boldly constructivist. A Human-Shaped God offers a readable, deeply humane presentation of the embodied biblical God, and it makes a daring constructive case for the relevance of that human-like God to our lives today." – Interpretation

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List Price: $45.00
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