Sacred Tropes: Tanakh, New Testament, and Qur'an as Literature and Culture


Contemporary sacred text scholarship has been stimulated by a number of intersecting trends: a surging interest in religion, sacred texts, and inspirational issues; burgeoning developments in and applications of literary theories; intensifying academic focus on diverse cultures whether for education or scholarship. Although much has been written individually about Tanakh, New Testament, and Qur’an, no collection combines an examination of all three. Sacred Tropes interweaves Tanakh, New Testament, and Qur’an essays. Contributors collectively and also often individually use mixed literary approaches instead of the older single theory strategy. Appropriate for classroom or research, the essays utilize a variety of literary theoretical lenses including environmental, cultural studies, gender, psychoanalytic, ideological, economic, historicism, law, and rhetorical criticisms through which to examine these sacred works.

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Roberta Sabbath, Ph.D. (1994) Comparative Literature, University of California, Riverside, teaches in the English Department, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She focuses on Tanakh-inspired literary traditions, including her monograph-in-progress, Re-Membering the Body: Figurative Readings of the Jewish Sense of Wonder.
“This is not a volume that requires a sequential reading from start to finish. It is a multi-course feast, one that can be read piecemeal and will be consulted for years to come.”
Harvey Cox, Harvard University in Journal of the American Oriental Society

"Despite the growth in modern scholarship of interest in sacred texts and interfaith and
interreligious studies, prior to this work there has been no collection of essays or otherwise
that addresses the Tanak, the New Testament, and the Qur’an as works of literature and
their influence on different world cultures. While this initially would seem a rather
daunting endeavor, mainly due to the scope of the texts in question and the varying
methods of approach to them, Sacred Tropes manages to overcome these obvious
difficulties and to offer a coherent, well-edited, and structured group of essays that not
only is easy to read but is of interest to scholars from a wide variety of disciplines and faith
Maire Byrne, Milltown Institute of Theology and Philosophy, Dublin, Ireland in Review of Biblical Literature (SBL).

"Reading this volume is like eating at an extravagant banquet where foods from three related yet distinct cultures are being served. Food items are not separated by cultures but by culinary themes. It is clear that each dish is from its own culture; there are no fusion dishes here. Similarities and differences between these culinary traditions must be
made by the guest. No one will complain about the amount and diversity of food. Each reader will find their new favorite dishes. All will find plenty to chew on and leave this banquet well fed."
Uriah Y. Kim, Hartford Seminary, in Muslim World.

“Clearly, one volume cannot be taken as representational of the scope of three
academic fields, but this collection does give a snapshot of a wide variety of
approaches. Despite the eclecticism of the collection and the range of approaches, it
encompasses, what do come through are correspondences between scholastic attitudes
and interests and the problematics of dealing with any scripture in terms of literary
culture. Above and beyond this, it is refreshing to be presented with a collection of
articles that is so unreservedly devoted to diversity in the process of interpretation
itself. The volume is well thought out and generally well presented, and the footnotes
are a goldmine for directions for further reading.”
Helen Blautherwick, School of Oriental and Asian Studies, London, in Journal of Qur'anic Studies.

Ibrahim Abraham, Mehnaz Afridi, George Aichele, Kecia Ali, Viviana Díaz Balsera, Betsy Bauman-Martin, Wendy Belcher, Roland Boer, Jonathan Bordo, Jessie Cheney, Ngwarsungu Chiwengo, Colleen Conway, Christine Dykgraaf, Bruce Fudge, Aisha Geissinger, Rosalind W. Gwynne, Gottfried Hagen, Peter Heath, Thomas Hoffmann, J'annine Jobling, Nikki Lloyd-Kimbrel for William W. Kimbrel, Jr., Marianna Klar, Jennifer L. Koosed, Kathleen Lundeen, William McBride, Beth McDonald, Mustansir Mir, Stephen Moore, Andrew Ng, Andrew Rippin, Magda Romanska, Alan R. Roughley, Roberta Sabbath, Regina Schwartz, Rob Seesengood, Yvonne Sherwood, Ken Stone, Marvin Sweeney, Ruth Tsoffar, Jay Twomey, John C. Ulreich, Andrew Wernick
Sacred Tropes targets undergraduate and graduate studies as well as scholarship of Tanakh, New Testament, and Qur'an.
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