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Extended Audio Sample God and Sex: What the Bible Really Says, by Michael Coogan Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (122 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Michael Coogan Narrator: Michael Coogan Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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For several decades, Michael Coogan’s introductory course on the Old Testament has been a perennial favorite among students at Harvard University. In God and Sex, Coogan examines one of the most controversial aspects of the Hebrew Scripture: What the Old Testament really says about sex, and how contemporary understanding of those writings is frequently misunderstood or misrepresented.

In the engaging and witty voice generations of students have appreciated, Coogan explores the language and social world of the Bible, showing how much innuendo and euphemism is at play and illuminating the sexuality of biblical figures as well as God. By doing so, Coogan reveals the immense gap between popular use of Scripture and its original context. God and Sex is certain to provoke, entertain, and enlighten readers.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “What makes Coogan’s critique so devastating is that he knows the Bible inside out—not just its many books, but also all the other books that for one reason or another never made it into the canon. Add to this his complete mastery of the languages in which the Bible was written and you start to appreciate that most of what passes for exegesis is simply cherry-picking, if not outright wishful thinking.”

    Globe and Mail (Toronto)

  • “Concise, clear, and accessible to general readers, this book covers all the usual topics plus a few that may surprise…A welcome corrective to selective, literalist use.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “A critique as radical as this one will astonish conservatives…It will embolden social activists glad to weaken restraints rooted in traditional understandings of scripture. Expect media attention and controversy.”


Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Carolyn | 1/12/2014

    " This could be an easy quick read; or you could read it in depth by including the many biblical and other references left by the author at the reader's fingertips. As the author states in the introduction, "...we will find sex in places where people do not usually see it." Indeed. You may never read the Sunday School stories in the same way. After giving much detailed information, I appreciated the last chapter, "Conclusions", where the author states, " Taken as a whole...the Bible can be understood as the record of the beginning of a continuous movement toward the goal of full freedom and equality for all persons..." "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Eloydrummerboy | 12/26/2013

    " A few of the conclusions and assumptions seemed like a stretch to me. But otherwise a well thought-out, clearly presented, and interesting read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Émilie | 12/9/2013

    " Easy to read romp through the bible and it's presentation on gender and sexuality - quite an eye opener for those who think the bible is a conservative, archaic text. Take a look! :) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by William | 1/18/2013

    " An incredibly interesting look at what the Bible really says in regards to sex. "

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About the Author

Michael Coogan is director of publications for the Harvard Semitic Museum and professor of religious studies at Stonehill College. For several decades, he has taught an introductory course on the Hebrew Scriptures at Harvard University, as well as at Wellesley College, Boston College, and Stonehill College. One of the leading biblical scholars in the United States, he is the author of The Old Testament: A Historical and Literary Introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures, and editor of the acclaimed third edition of The New Oxford Annotated Bible.