Religion and Its Monsters
by Timothy Beal
Religion's great and powerful mystery fascinates us, but it also terrifies. So too the monsters that haunt the stories of the Judeo-Christian mythos and earlier traditions: Leviathan, Behemoth, dragons, and other beasts. In this unusual and provocative book, Timothy K. Beal writes about the monsters that lurk in our religious texts, and about how monsters and religion are...more
Paperback, 235 pages
Published December 6th 2001 by Routledge
(first published 2001)
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Monsters. They both fascinate and repulse us. In this slim but meaty little book, Beal examines the monsters of the Judeo-Christian tradition, and then turns and examines how our current monster milieu draws heavily on that tradition. The first section examines the theme of the chaos monster, as portrayed throughout Middle Eastern societies, and how that theme is manifested in the Bible. The highlight of this section was the examination of Leviathan, especially in that richest book, the Book of...more
Overall, I had to like it at a base level bc it was so readable. Tim Beal seems to be a very good academic writer (yay!) and that really comes out. In addition, the book was just interesting. However, I do wish they would've given it one more run through before going to press? Sometimes the chapters really jump topics and don't flow as well as they could have with a bit more transition. Tim, your editor didn't do your writing justice. That being said, this is a very informative book, and an enjo...more
Examination of religion and religious impulse and the symbolic grip of monsters. I wasn't as impressed with some of the pop culture study, but the discussion of the rarely discussed monsters of the Old Testament and later Rabbinic literature was fascinating.
Timothy Beal is Florence Harkness Professor of Religion and former director of the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities at Case Western Reserve University. He has published ten books, including Roadside Religion: In Search of the Sacred, the Strange, and the Substance of Faith, which was a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice and one of Publishers Weekly’s ten Best Religion Books of 2005; Re...moreMore about Timothy Beal...