CrossCurrents: God, The God of Unmet Desire

Volume 72, Number 1, March 2022

By Zisl, Edited by S. Brent Rodriguez-Plate

102 pp., 6 x 9

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-7222-9
    Published: August 2022
  • E-book EPUB ISBN: 978-1-4696-7289-2
    Published: August 2022
  • E-book PDF ISBN: 979-8-8908-6416-1
    Published: August 2022

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Distributed for the Association for Public Religion and Intellectual Life

Equal parts pandemic testimony and “autotheology,” God, The God of Unmet Desire is a record of the author’s quest to find God during the lonely peak of the first COVID-19 pandemic winter. At the heart of this special issue of CrossCurrents, lies a set of meditations on the daily, traditional Jewish weekday morning liturgy. They fiercely and feelingly explore that pandemic winter’s themes of grief, sensuality, and surrender, and our dire need for old and new wisdoms to help us move into collective responsibility for our broken world. To do so, the work weaves together sources as various as the Babylonian Talmud, 20th century feminist science fiction, and 21st century African diasporic poetry. The writings range in length and style from a few lines of prose to a half-dozen lines of poetry to a full-length essay.

This work is explicitly feminist, leftist, and non-Zionist. It playfully but sincerely demonstrates Jewish liturgical traditions’ possibilities and limitations as resources for personal and political liberation and accountability. God, The God of Unmet Desire also explores the author’s own gender and sexuality. It takes a tone that oscillates from sincerely pious to playfully kinky.

The work is designed to be accessible to a wider audience while drawing from deep, Jewish roots. Religious-curious and religious-affiliated progressive-minded people of all backgrounds will be drawn to Zisl’s creative and critical writing. God, The God of Unmet Desire will appeal to anyone who wishes to integrate liberatory models of collective social change with traditional insights about God and spiritual belonging—mediated by the wisdom of an imperfectly human sacred liturgy developed over the last two millennia.

About the Author

“Zisl” is the nom-de-plume of a writer, educator and organizer living in a major American city. They are an active leader in feminist, anti-racist, pro-Jewish work, and a somewhat traditionally observant and just-a-little-bit learned Jew. Zisl likes diaspora.
For more information about Zisl, visit the Author Page.