Noam Pines is Assistant Professor in the Department of Jewish Thought at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York.
Jesus was a skilled storyteller and perceptive teacher who used parables from everyday life to effectively convey his message and meaning. Life in first-century Palestine was very different from our world today, and many traditional interpretations of Jesus’ stories ignore this disparity and have often allowed anti-Semitism and misogyny to color their perspectives.
In this wise, entertaining, and educational book, Amy-Jill Levine offers a fresh, timely reinterpretation of Jesus’ narratives. In Short Stories by Jesus, she analyzes these “problems with parables,” taking readers back in time to understand how their original Jewish audience understood them. Levine reveals the parables’ connections to first-century economic and agricultural life, social customs and morality, Jewish scriptures and Roman culture. With this revitalized understanding, she interprets these moving stories for the contemporary reader, showing how the parables are not just about Jesus, but are also about us—and when read rightly, still challenge and provoke us two thousand years later.
Illuminating with uncanny prescience Western society's evolving debates on gender and sexuality, Between Men still has much to teach us. With a new foreword by Wayne Koestenbaum emphasizing the work's ongoing relevance, Between Men engages with Shakespeare's Sonnets, Wycherley's The Country Wife, Sterne's A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy, Hogg's The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner, Tennyson's The Princess, Eliot's Adam Bede, Thackeray's The History of Henry Esmond, Esq., and Dickens's Our Mutual Friend and The Mystery of Edwin Drood, among many other texts. Its pathbreaking analysis of homosocial desire in Western literature remains vital to the future of queer studies and to explorations of the social transformations in which it participates.