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Benevolence and Justice in Extraction Economies

A Response to Roland Boer, The Sacred Economy of Ancient Israel (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2015)

In: Horizons in Biblical Theology
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  • 1 Union Presbyterian Seminary, 3401 Brook Rd, Richmond, va 23227, USAsadams@upsem.edu
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Roland Boer’s work on the sacred economy of ancient Israel will become a standard reference volume for years to come. Boer reframes our understanding of Israel’s economy around Marx’s notion of régulation, the distinction between allocative and extractive economies, and patterns of subsistence survival at the village level. While this response celebrates Boer’s work, it suggests that more attention be given to the negative aspects of extraction economies, in particular to subsistence survival, and to the role of women and children in this economy. It also notes that Boer’s description of wisdom literature as reflecting the voices of the ruling elite in their attempt to control the servant class might be balanced by more attention to the wisdom literature where God becomes an advocate for the poor.

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