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What Hope After Babel? Diversity and Community in Gen 11:1-9; Exod 1:1-14; Zeph 3:1-13 and Acts 2:1-3

In: Horizons in Biblical Theology
Author:
David SmithToronto, Ontario

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Abstract

Appropriately enough, the Babel narrative of Gen 11:1-9 has generated a scattered array of interpretations, with most of its detail disputable in one way or another. Further additions to this particular industry may risk achieving little more than adding to the confusion. Interpreting Babel remains, however, a serious and necessary task, not least because of the cultural power exercised by its image of building and dispersion. This power has led to the narrative being used to reinforce a diverse collection of worldviews, from apartheid in South Africa to Derridean deconstruction.1 The question of how we should live after Babel is still very much alive, and must continue to draw us back to the text - and its context.

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