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Ethics after Auschwitz?

Primo Levi’s and Elie Wiesel’s Response

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Carole J. Lambert

Ethics after Auschwitz? Primo Levi’s and Elie Wiesel’s Response demonstrates how, after their horrific experiences in Auschwitz, both Primo Levi and Elie Wiesel could have deservedly expressed rage and bitterness for the rest of their lives. Housed in the same barracks in the depths of hell, a dark reality surpassing Dante’s vivid images portrayed in The Inferno, they chose to speak, write, and work for a better world, never allowing the memory of those who did not survive to fade. Why and how did they make this choice? What influenced their values before Auschwitz and their moral decision making after it? What can others who have suffered less devastating traumas learn from them? «The quest is in the question», Wiesel often tells his students. This book is a quest for hope and goodness emerging from the Shoah’s deepest «night».
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Against Indifference

Four Christian Responses to Jewish Suffering during the Holocaust (C. S. Lewis, Thomas Merton, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, André and Magda Trocmé)

Carole J. Lambert

Against Indifference analyzes four responses to Jewish suffering during the Holocaust, moving on a spectrum from indifference to courageous action. C. S. Lewis did little to speak up for victimized Jews; Thomas Merton chose to enclose himself in a monastery to pray for and expiate the sins of a world gone awry; Dietrich Bonhoeffer acted to help his twin sister, her Jewish husband, and some other Jews escape from Germany; and the Trocmés established protective housing and an ongoing «underground railroad» that saved several thousand Jewish lives. Why such variation in the responses of those who had committed their lives to Jesus Christ and recognized that His prime commandment is to love God and others? This book provides answers to this question that help shed light on current Christians and their commitment to victims who suffer and need their help.
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From Proverbs to Parables

The Creative Wisdom of Jesus

Carole J. Lambert

The goal of this book is to suggest that Jesus as a creative artist was heavily influenced by the Hebrew Bible’s Book of Proverbs. It posits that he created some of his short parables from specific verses found in Proverbs, suggests that he expanded some basic sapient themes present in this book when composing his parables, and shows him reacting negatively to the commonly held belief that this Book’s overall concept of wisdom is that the wise are rewarded and the fools are punished by God through their own self-destructive choices and subsequent actions.

Thus this text points to Jesus as an inventive artist, a concept not usually associated with him, and it complicates simplistic ways of defining biblical wisdom. Part I demonstrates how Jesus might have created his tales from specific proverbs found in the Book of Proverbs. The overarching theme for these parables is wisdom: Jesus as wisdom (I Cor. 1:24) speaking wisdom in new ways.

Part II discusses Jesus as a self-actualized artist who creatively designed these tales. It examines what shaped Jesus’ artistry, what might have been the sources of his literacy, why he might have chosen to expand individual proverbs imaginatively in order to create his moral tales, and how his wisdom enhanced conventional attitudes toward wisdom as the former included and clarified his new "kingdom of God" concepts.

This book could be used in courses treating Literature and the Bible, Biblical Art, The Humanity of Jesus, and Wisdom Literature Common to Christians and Jews.

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Is God Man’s Friend?

Theodicy and Friendship in Elie Wiesel’s Novels

Carole J. Lambert

Elie Wiesel’s novels – The Town Beyond the Wall, Twilight, The Gates of the Forest, The Accident, A Beggar in Jerusalem, and The Judges – win literary prizes in France, but often receive poor reviews in the United States. Lambert analyzes them clearly and cogently via two key themes: theodicy and friendship. She shows how the angry, embittered Holocaust survivor protagonists approach the God who seems to have broken His covenant at Auschwitz. This approach to God is made through friendships, some real and some mystical. Her analyses now render Wiesel’s novels accessible to Americans who may already appreciate his essays and memoirs.
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Doing Good, Departing from Evil

Research Findings in the Twenty-First Century

Carole J. Lambert

Doing Good, Departing from Evil: Research Findings in the Twenty-First Century emphasizes that goodness must be actively enacted, not abstractly discussed, that evil is present and must be fought, and that in-depth research into problems provides wisdom to proceed with that battle in the new century. Eleven scholars investigate problematic topics and offer potential guidance about racism, propaganda, marital tensions, educational inequities, college dropouts, elders’ depression, neglect of the disabled, and even peacemaking between faith-based and secular social work agencies as well as Israelis and Palestinians. This collection offers no easy answers to complex problems, but points the way to potentially positive modes of mending the world, and invites readers to share in this challenging task.
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William D. Brewer and Carole J. Lambert

Essays on the Modern Identity selectively represents the developing understanding of the modern self from the time of Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) to the present. This volume contextualizes the late-twentieth-century crisis of the self by exploring the relationships between modern and postmodern conceptions of the human identity. Featuring exemplary analyses of selected texts, paintings, and prints, this collection of essays is offered as a contribution to the ongoing, necessarily interdisciplinary discussion of the place of modern identity in a postmodern world.