© 2016

A Critical Theology of Genesis

The Non-Absolute God


  • Features autobiographical as well as sophisticated philosophical and theological reflections on Genesis

  • Draws on rabbinic tradition but extends these types of interpretations in novel, postmodern ways

  • Provides a highly philosophically and theologically distinctive, fresh approach to an much examined text


Part of the Radical Theologies book series (RADT)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xx
  2. Itzhak Benyamini
    Pages 1-3
  3. The Creation

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 5-5
    2. Itzhak Benyamini
      Pages 7-22
    3. Itzhak Benyamini
      Pages 23-37
    4. Itzhak Benyamini
      Pages 39-45
    5. Itzhak Benyamini
      Pages 47-58
    6. Itzhak Benyamini
      Pages 59-64
    7. Itzhak Benyamini
      Pages 65-74
  4. The Binding of Laughter

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 79-79
    2. Itzhak Benyamini
      Pages 81-97
    3. Itzhak Benyamini
      Pages 99-104
    4. Itzhak Benyamini
      Pages 105-109
    5. Itzhak Benyamini
      Pages 111-120
    6. Itzhak Benyamini
      Pages 121-131
    7. Itzhak Benyamini
      Pages 133-138
    8. Itzhak Benyamini
      Pages 139-148
    9. Itzhak Benyamini
      Pages 149-150

About this book


In this book Itzhak Benyamini presents an alternative reading of Genesis, a close textual analysis from the story of creation to the binding of Isaac. This reading offers the possibility of a soft relation to God, not one characterized by fear and awe. The volume presents Don-Abraham-Quixote not as a perpetual knight of faith but as a cunning believer in the face of God's demands of him. Benyamini reads Genesis without making concessions to God, asking about Him before He examines the heart of Adam, Noah, Abraham, and the other knights of faith (if they are really that). In this way, the commentary on Genesis becomes a platform for a new type of critical theology. Through this unconventional rereading of the familiar biblical text, the book attempts to extract a different ethic, one that challenges the Kierkegaardian demand of blind faith in an all-knowing moral God and offers in its stead an alternative, everyday ethic. The ethic that Benyamini uncovers is characterized by family continuity and tradition intended to ensure that very axis—familial permanence and resilience in the face of the demanding and capricious law of God and the everyday hardships of life. 


Bible Hebrew bible Hermeneutics Genesis Critical theology Monotheism Abraham Theology bible biblical studies Christianity god Judaism philosophy religion religious studies theology

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, and University of HaifaGivataimIsrael

About the authors

Itzhak Benyamini teaches at University of Haifa, and at Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem, Israel. He is also the editor of Resling publishing house and the author of a number of books, including Narcissist Universalism: A Psychoanalytic Reading of Paul's Epistles (2012).  

Bibliographic information


“A Critical Theology of Genesis: The Non-Absolute God is an English-language translation of a Hebrew monograph … that offers theological commentary on Genesis 1-22. … Benyamini’s approach to Genesis is quite welcome and promising.” (Craig Evan Anderson, Reading Religion,, April 24, 2019)