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The dominant theme of post-Holocaust Jewish theology has been that of the temporary hiddenness of God, interpreted either as a divine mystery or, more commonly, as God's deferral to human freedom. But traditional Judaic obligations of female presence, together with the traditional image of the Shekhinah as a figure of God's 'femaleness' accompanying Israel into exile, seem to contradict such theologies of absence. The Female Face of God in Auschwitz, the first full-length feminist theology of the Holocaust, argues that the patriarchal bias of post-Holocaust theology becomes fully apparent only when women's experiences and priorities are brought into historical light. Building upon the published testimonies of four women imprisoned at Auschwitz-Birkenau - Olga Lengyel, Lucie Adelsberger, Bertha Ferderber-Salz and Sara Nomberg-Przytyk - it considers women's distinct experiences of the holy in relation to God's perceived presence and absence in the camps. God's face, says Melissa Raphael, was not hidden in Auschwitz, but intimately revealed in the female face turned towards the other as a refractive image of God, especially in the moral protest made visible through material and spiritual care for the assaulted other.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780415236652
ISBN-10: 0415236657
Format: Paperback
(234mm x 156mm x 19mm)
Pages: 240
Imprint: Routledge
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
Publish Date: 13-Mar-2003
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Melissa Raphael

Melissa Raphael is Principal Lecturer in Theology and Religious Studies at The University of Gloucestershire. She is the author of Introducing Thealogy: Discourse on the Goddess (1999), Rudolf Otto and the Concept of Holiness (1997) and Thealogy and Embodiment (1996).

Books By Author Melissa Raphael

Judaism and the Visual Image by Melissa Raphael

Judaism and the Visual Image

Hardback, February 2009
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Female Face of God in Auschwitz by Melissa Raphael

The Female Face of God in Auschwitz

Hardback, March 2003
$180.00
Rudolf Otto and the Concept of Holiness by Melissa Raphael

Rudolf Otto and the Concept of Holiness

Hardback, September 1997
$213.26
Thealogy and Embodiment by Melissa Raphael

Thealogy and Embodiment

Paperback, March 1996
$67.50