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The story of Abraham's near sacrifice of Isaac has a central place in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. It is one of the most written about and most disturbing stories in all of religion and philosophy. Professor Goodman has written of his own discomfort with and awe for this story in a sweeping survey of the many legends, interpretations, agreements and disagreements that have been generated by Chapter 22 of Genesis.
What appealed to me the most about this marvelous book is the way Professor Goodman travels across faith traditions and millennia weaving together the nearly limitless ways the story has been understood. I was swept along as one might be with a brilliant travel guide on a far reaching journey.
The general tendency of those who think about religion, philosophy, or even the literary aspects of what are regarded as sacred texts is to develop their own point of view and dismiss most or all others. This book counteracts that rigidity by opening the reader -- in this case the listener -- to the practice of explanation and interpretation that has characterized the best thinkers of all faith traditions.
As to the narrator, he did an excellent job as well. I took off one star for him because, like so many other narrators, his pronunciation of the Hebrew terms was flawed. (For example, the guttural "CH" or "KH" sound was either softened to an "SH" or to a hard "CH" as in "chief" or "church." By now I have listened to nearly 100 audio books and have been exposed to some narrators who are very skilled at pronunciation of foreign language words, but Hebrew seems to give many otherwise excellent readers a hard time. Perhaps Audible or the other companies that make these books available could help these narrators with those hard to pronounce words.
Nevertheless, someone not familiar with the correct pronunciation would not be put off and overall the narration as well as the overall listening experience was outstanding.
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