Item description for The Shadow of God: Voices from the Past in Early Judaism by Leo Dupree Sandgren...
Overview Using the medium of historical fiction, The Shadow of God covers six centuries of Jewish history, from the Babylonian exile to the destruction of the Second Temple. Fifteen stories, each centered on a historical event, explore typical Jewish characters of the era. Women and men, some historical, some fictional, grapple with changing views of God, Torah, and the attraction of Hellenism. The narrator, Leontius, weaves the stories into an organic saga that answers the ancient call to be a Jew and worship the Most High God. Here, students will unearth up-to-date scholarship on early Judaism, teachers of Bible backgrounds will discover a supplemental text that engages while it instructs, and lovers of fiction will be delighted by the good story of this book.
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Leo DuprEe Sandgren (PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) is adjunct assistant professor of Judaism, Christian origins, and historical fiction at the University of Florida. He has lived in Israel, Africa, and Europe and is the author of "The Shadow of God: Stories from Early Judaism."
Reviews - What do customers think about The Shadow of God: Stories from Early Judaism?
Most incredible book ever May 4, 2007
This book is absolutely amazing early christian/jewish historical fiction piece. I was fortunate enough to take a class with the Author himself - he is a most educated scholar and noble man, his book reflects his knowledge and passion for christian roots.
Historical fiction at its best Jul 7, 2005
I purchased this book hoping to get a feel for what post-exilic life was like for the Jews. I knew the basic historical dates and events, but I wanted to learn more about this relatively unknown period of Jewish history.
Sandgren's book met all of my expectations. The stories are clearly based on accurate historical research, and they are well-written. They emphasize the life of the people rather than the decisions of the powerful. The author also ties the stories together in the epilogue by highlighting certain themes that emerge from the narratives.
If a reader wants to learn more about the background or find suggestions about where to do more historical research, the endnotes will provide all that the reader wants. Another helpful feature is the detailed timeline at the end of the book.
This is historical fiction at its best.
A great read! May 6, 2005
I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in early Judaism and Christianity. Although many of the characters in the book are fictitious, the stories allow one to understand how real people at the time might have reacted to the events occurring in their lives. As an example, to read the biblical passages about Ezra requiring the Jews to divorce their foreign wives is one thing. But, to experience this from the perspective of a Jewish family actually having to separate yields a very meaningful understanding.
Not only is the book pleasurable reading, but it is based on solid scholarship with numerous reference and explanatory notes. One can appreciate the book as well written stories getting the scholarship as a bonus, or one can read it for the information, but in a painless format. Professor Sandgren gets an A+ on this assignment.