The Figure of Samson in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Traditions: The Myth and the Man

Author: Caspi ,Mishael M.
Year:2014
Pages:424
ISBN:0-7734-4278-2
978-0-7734-4278-8
Price:259.95
This remarkable literary journey of the enigmatic ‘Samson’ titillates the reader’s curiosity. Blessed with a handsome and spectacular physique, and a naughty thirst for la dolce vita, Samson has served as a paradigm for many a well-meaning person who failed to teach himself self-restraint. Caspi and Greene chronicle the fascinating literary-historical development of the Samson figure and his significance through Jewish, Christian, and Islamic traditions, and during ancient, medieval, and modern times.

Reviews

“Caspi and Green have once again provided the reader with a thorough treatment of this biblical character. He is a fascinating character; their work is a fascinating read.”
-Dr. Azila Talit Reisenberger,
University of Cape Town


“I was very much impressed by their [authors] perception and the strength of their interpretation of Samson’s story…The readers are overwhelmed when they read about the influence of the story of Samson in many various literary works, not only in biblical scholarship, but poetry, fiction, music and art as well…In sum, this is an excellent work of art which I highly recommend…”
-Dr. Yitzhak Peleg,
Senior Lecturer,
Bet Berl Academic College, Israel


“The reader is in for a treat as s/he enters the interpretive history of Samson as put together by master story-tellers Caspi and Greene. Biblical scholars, as well as the average, intelligent and critical reader will find this book an acceptable, capital outlay; it belongs in every personal library.”
-Professor Rami Arav,
University of Nebraska at Omaha


Table of Contents

Abbreviations
Foreword
by Azila Talit Reisenberger
PART ONE
Exordium
Chapter One:
A Woman, an Angel, and a Man

A. The Birth
B. Streams of Desire and Sufferings
C. A’re Hee Kash-rat Be- ‘e-nai
D. Flames Run Over His Heart
E. And On a Path He Wandered
Chapter Two:
Samson and Other Casanovas:

Hercules and Arcite: Samson in Modern Literature:
Samson in the Arabic Literature
PART TWO:
Chapter Three:
The Sun Man: Some Thoughts on Samson and His Importance in Biblical Literature and for Ancient Near Eastern and Mediterranean/Aegean Mythology and Modern Archeology

I. Introduction
The Biblical Philistines
II. The Historico-Archaeological Background
III. Between Zorah and Eshtaol: The Mythologico-Cosmological backdrop: Building Blocks Toward A/The Story of the Sun Man/Men
Then Name Samson
Some Characteristics of Samson
Mars
From Pillar to Post
Modern Double Columns/Pillars and Samson
En Editorial Reflection on Columns and Horns
Here Comes the Judge
The Blind Leading the Judge
Samson and the Rabbis
IV. Crafting the Samson Saga: Rearranging Mythological and Literary Building-Blocks and Refracting Them Through a Jewish Prism: Responding to the Question “Why”?
The Wife
Delilah
The Final Question
The Ups and Downs of the Samson Story
Chapter Four:
Samson among the Church Fathers, the Medievalists, and the Protestant Fathers

A Brief, Transitional Text
Chapter Five:
The Modern World Reacts to Samson

Modern Literary Interest in Samson
Classical Musical Studies on Samson
Film
Homiletical and Church Instructional Interest Seeking Samson among Other Modern Churchmen
Conclusion
Postscript
Index