SEX AND FAMILY IN THE BIBLE AND THE MIDDLE EAST by Raphael Patal

SEX AND FAMILY IN THE BIBLE AND THE MIDDLE EAST

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A comparative study of the Bible and the folk life which still exists (though it is diminishing under the impress of westernization) in remote villages of the Middle East and among nomadic tribes reveals a closely structured and tradition-directed society. Patrilineal, endogamous, patriarchal, polygnous, here are the tenets, laws, mores, rituals which maintain its strong in-group tendencies- marriages between first degree relatives, the exclusion of outsiders, the centralization of responsibility in the family head and concentration on patriarchal power. All the special ceremonies and beliefs (largely from their biblical sources) which apply to marriage, fruitfulness and sterility, childbirth and the rearing of the children, as well as their attitudes toward age and death are indicated. The implications for today's world- where many of these values and observances have been reversed- are analysed as one sees that where family tradition shows an uninterrupted continuity, many of the problems among the young and the very old are eliminated. While intended for a general audience, the likelihood is that its interest is largely sociological.

Pub Date: May 21st, 1959
Publisher: Doubleday