Sense dismembered: The rape of the concubine


The illustrations show (1) the rape of the concubine in Judges 19 and (2) the Holocaust. The former directly, the latter indirectly are the topic of chapter 11, entitled "Sense Dismembered". This story is in many ways what spurred me to write the book. She has come to me many times, as herself and as the Bible's quintessential victim, the person who has no one to defend her, the one who is given up. She is the one whose prayers go unanswered, meaning that God, too, fails to show up. Her prayer goes like this, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" She was raped, murdered, and mutilated during the time of the Judges, when there was no king in Israel and everyone did what was right in their own eyes. But she lives in our time, too; she lives and dies in our time: IT IS IN OUR TIME THAT SHE LIVES, the victim, in an era of apparent god-forsakenness on an industrial scale. She is the Bible's representation of the Holocaust, the Holocaust made personal, the twelve pieces of her body sent forth into the world, asking for awareness, a comment, and a sunflower on her grave.

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THE BOOK

Sigve K. Tonstad's God of Sense presents the Holocaust, not as a problem that defeats belief, but as the reality that demands a religious and theological account of evil and human existence.

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