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The Good and Evil Serpent

James Charlesworth

The Good and Evil Serpent

James Charlesworth

$109.99

Hardback
When asked what the word serpent, brings to mind, most Christians, Jews, and Muslims would describe it as the incarnation of "the Devil" or "evil." The same is true of the scholarly worldthe vast majority of scholarship on the symbolism of the serpent has stressed its negative connotations, seeing it as a representation of iniquity and deceit or of the dangerous, "sinful" aspects of sex. James Charlesworth challenges this accepted wisdom in THE GOOD AND EVIL SERPENT and shows that its appearances as a positive symbol, in fact, far outnumber the negative. Drawing on sources ranging from the Bible and other religious texts to works of history, philosophy, and art history, to actual artifacts like statues and jewelry, Charlesworth reveals the complex and subtle meanings the serpent held for ancient civilizations. He discusses the widespread use of serpent imagery to symbolize wisdom, rejuvenation, and eternal life, and illustrates the specific ways various cultures and belief systems interpreted and depicted the serpent's powers. In ancient Egypt, for instance, the image of an upright hooded cobra was commonly employed as a protective icon. In many cultures, serpents represent health and healing. The familiar caduceus of Western medicine originated with the entwined serpents carved on the staff of the legendary Greek healer Aesculapius, and Moses fashioned a serpent of brass on a pole to ward off snakes in the wilderness. Illustrated with more than one hundred black-and-white images, THE GOOD AND EVIL SERPENT is the definitive investigation into the creature that has been both revered and vilified by human societies throughout history.

- Publisher

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About "The Good and Evil Serpent"

When asked what the word serpent, brings to mind, most Christians, Jews, and Muslims would describe it as the incarnation of "the Devil" or "evil." The same is true of the scholarly worldthe vast majority of scholarship on the symbolism of the serpent has stressed its negative connotations, seeing it as a representation of iniquity and deceit or of the dangerous, "sinful" aspects of sex. James Charlesworth challenges this accepted wisdom in THE GOOD AND EVIL SERPENT and shows that its appearances as a positive symbol, in fact, far outnumber the negative. Drawing on sources ranging from the Bible and other religious texts to works of history, philosophy, and art history, to actual artifacts like statues and jewelry, Charlesworth reveals the complex and subtle meanings the serpent held for ancient civilizations. He discusses the widespread use of serpent imagery to symbolize wisdom, rejuvenation, and eternal life, and illustrates the specific ways various cultures and belief systems interpreted and depicted the serpent's powers. In ancient Egypt, for instance, the image of an upright hooded cobra was commonly employed as a protective icon. In many cultures, serpents represent health and healing. The familiar caduceus of Western medicine originated with the entwined serpents carved on the staff of the legendary Greek healer Aesculapius, and Moses fashioned a serpent of brass on a pole to ward off snakes in the wilderness. Illustrated with more than one hundred black-and-white images, THE GOOD AND EVIL SERPENT is the definitive investigation into the creature that has been both revered and vilified by human societies throughout history.
- Publisher

Meet the Author

James Charlesworth

James H. Charlesworth is the George L. Collord Professor of New Testament Language and Literature and director of the Dead Sea Scrolls Project at Princeton Theological Seminary, New Jersey. He also directs the Syrus Sinaiticus Project at St. Catherines Monastery in Sinai. Charlesworth is a world-renowned translator, particularly of pseudepigraphical material, and the author of Jesus and the Dead Sea Scrolls; The Bible and the Dead Sea Scrolls; The Serpent: A Symbol of Life or Death? and The Historical Jesus.

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Product Details

Product Details
  • Catalogue Code 228141
  • Product Code 0385496966
  • EAN 9780385496964
  • Pages 608
  • Department Academic
  • Category Biblical Studies
  • Sub-Category General
  • Publisher Anchor Books
  • Publication Date Mar 2008
  • Dimensions 234 x 155 mm
  • Weight 0.999kg

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