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January 08 , 2009

The Female Face of God in Auschwitz


The Female Face of God in Auschwitz, the first full-length feminist theology of the Holocaust, argues that the masculinist bias of post-Holocaust theology becomes fully apparent only when considered in the light of both women's perceptions of God and of their holocaustal experiencesand priorities. Building upon published testimonies of four women imprisoned at Auschwitz-Birkenau – Olga Lengyel, Lucie Adelsberger, Bertha Ferderber-Salz, and Sara Nomberg-Przytyk – it considers women's distinct experiences of the holy in relation to God's perceived presence and absence in the camps. Engaging with Berkovits, Fackenheim, Levinas and other post-Holocaust Jewish thinkers, The Female Face of God in Auschwitz is a radical and subtle meditation upon God's role and meaning. Questioning the true nature of the Jewish God present in Auschwitz, and arguing for God's participation in its extremities of suffering and grace, it powerfully resists defamatory interpretations of the Holocaust as evidence of divine vengeance, indifference or neglect.

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