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Critical Entanglements: Postmodern Theory in Biblical Studies

In: Brill Research Perspectives in Biblical Interpretation
Author:
Andrew P. Wilson Mount Allison University, Sackville, Canada

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Abstract

While postmodernism remains an ambiguous and messy phenomenon to represent, it also remains a compelling prophetic voice in the ongoing development of contemporary biblical studies. This article tracks the various strands of postmodernism threaded through the discipline, drawing on a range of evocative biblical readings as well as key examples from the art world. It demonstrates that the scholarly “entanglement” with postmodern theory provides a valuable critical sensibility to biblical readings, and referring to specific examples from reception history, one that has the potential to showcase biblical studies at its best. When it comes to reading practices, scholarly voices and identities, postmodern theory shows that biblical scholarship is ethically oriented and has an expansive sense of the text and textual effects. The distinctive ways in which postmodern theory has shaped scholarship of the bible are plotted, while continuing to beckon in unanticipated ways from unexpected vantage points.

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