Clio and Canons: in Search of a Cultural Poetics of the Hebrew Bible

In: Biblical Interpretation


The enterprise of writing "histories" of "ancient Israel" in which biblical historiography is reproduced by old credulists or critiqued by new nihilists represents one of the leading edges of contemporary biblical studies in relation to the Hebrew Bible. This quest for a cultural poetics or cultural materialist accounts of the Bible is virtually equivalent to a New Historicism in the discipline. In this article analyses of three topics from current debates in biblical studies (historiography of "ancient Israel", the empty land topos, canons and context) are used to provide insights into how new historicist approaches to contextualizing literature may contribute to these current debates about the Bible.

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