Universalism and Particularism at Sodom and Gomorrah
By Diana Lipton, Tel Aviv University
This book reexamines the Sodom and Gomorrah narrative in Genesis 18–19, an ethically charged text that has significantly influenced views about homosexuality, stereotyping the other, the rewards and risks of hospitality, and the justice owed to outsiders. Its twelve essays, reflecting their authors’ considerable geographical, religious, methodological, and academic diversity, explore this troubling text through the lens of universalism and particularism. Biblical Sodom is read as the site of multiple borders—fluid, porous, and bi-directional—between similar and different, men and angels, men and women, fathers and daughters, insiders and outsiders, hosts and guests, residents and aliens, chosen and nonchosen, and people and God. Readers of these exegetically and theologically attentive essays published in memory of Ron Pirson will experience a rare sense of an ancient text being read in and for the modern world.