New from Simon & Schuster

The Pollan Family Table by Corky Pollan, Lori Pollan, Dana Pollan and Tracy Pollan
MONEY Master the Game by Tony Robbins
The Cinderella Murder by Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke
Revival by Stephen King
Jeter Unfiltered by Derek Jeter
Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow by Sophia Loren
In the Valley of the Shadow

In the Valley of the Shadow

On the Foundations of Religious Belief

Ten years ago, when Harvard professor James Kugel was diagnosed with an aggressive, likely fatal, form of cancer, “I was, of course, disturbed and worried. But the main change in my state of mind was that . . . the background music had suddenly stopped. . . . the music of daily life that’s constantly going, the music of infinite time and possibilities. Now suddenly it was gone, replaced by nothing, just silence. There you are, one little person, sitting in the late-summer sun, with only a few things left to do.” Despite his illness, Kugel was intrigued by this new state of mind; it seemed to reveal something basic about the religions that he had been studying for years.

In this wide-ranging exploration of religion throughout the ages, interspersed with personal reflection on the course of his illness, Kugel mines a rich store of sources in an attempt to understand mankind’s unending series of encounters with God, from ancient accounts of human meetings with gods and angels, to first-person narratives of religious conversions and the findings of neuroscientists and evolutionary biologists about religious belief. A rigorously honest, sometimes skeptical, but ultimately deeply moving affirmation of religious faith, In the Valley of the Shadow is a powerful meditation on humanity’s place in the world and life’s greatest mystery.
Choose a format:
  • Free Press | 
  • 256 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781439130100 | 
  • November 2011
List Price $15.00
This title is temporarily out of stock, please check back soon.

Video

AUTHOR JAMES L. KUGEL ON HIS BOOK, IN THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW

Faced with cancer, author James Kugel reflects on life, death, and humanity's place in the world.

More Books from this Author

About the Author

James L. Kugel
Photo Credit: Erwin Schenkelbach

James L. Kugel

James L. Kugel is Starr Professor of Hebrew Literature at Harvard University, and a regular visiting Professor of Biblical Studies at Bar-Ilan University in Israel.  He is the author of a number of books of biblical scholarship, including How to Read the Bible (2007), for which he won the National Jewish Book Award for best book,The Great Poems of the Bible (1999), and The Bible As It Was (1997). In 2001, Kugel was awarded the prestigious Grawemeyer Prize in Religion.  He lives in Jerusalem, Israel, and in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

BECOME A FAN

Explore

CONNECT WITH US

Get a FREE eBook
when you join our mailing list!