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Author: Abraham Smith
In this study, Abraham Smith introduces the nature, history, and interventions of two theoretical-political cultural productions: Black/Africana studies (the systematic and rigorous study of Africa and African descendants) and Black/Africana biblical studies (a biblical studies’ subfield that analyzes and appraises the strategies of reception and the historical and contemporary impact of the Christian bible for people of African descent). Both cultural productions were formally introduced in U.S. educational institutions in the late 1960s as a part of the Black Freedom movement. Both have long and deep intellectual antecedents on the one hand and ever-evolving recent interventions that challenge a narrow politics of identity on the other. Through the interrogation of keywords (such as race, family, and Hip Hop or cartographies, canons, and contexts), moreover, the study examines how these two theoretical-political projects question the settled epistemologies or prevailing intellectual currencies of their respective times.
In Apostles of Revolution? Marxism and Biblical Studies Christina Petterson sheds light on the collaboration between Biblical studies and liberal ideology. Marxist analysis of the bible is spreading, but clarity about what constitutes Marxist readings and Marxist categories of analysis is lacking – a lack of clarity compounded by the different strands within Marxist politics, and its subtle resonances in biblical scholarship. The author examines the interplay between Biblical studies and liberal ideology in two ways. First, by presenting and discussing some of the central Marxist categories of analysis, namely history, ideology and class, and how these categories have been co-opted into biblical studies and in the process lost their radical edge. Second, by discussing the emergence of the discipline of biblical studies during the Enlightenment, and to what extent the containment strategies of biblical studies overlap with those of capitalism.
Author: Amy J. Erickson
Ephraim Radner, Hosean Wilderness, and the Church in the Post-Christendom West offers the first monograph-length treatment of the compelling and perplexing contemporary Anglican theologian Ephraim Radner. While unravelling his distinctive approach to biblical hermeneutics and ecclesiology, it queries the state of today's secularized church through a theological interpretation of an equally enigmatic writer: the prophet Hosea. It concludes that an eschatological posture of waiting and a heuristic of poesis should dictate the church's shape for an era in which God is stripping the church of its foregoing institutional forms.
In Latina/o/x Studies and Biblical Studies Jacqueline M. Hidalgo introduces Latina/o/x studies for a biblical studies audience. She examines crucial themes that bridge the two fields, themes such as identity and difference with special attention to ethnicity and race; migration with attention to homing, diaspora, transnationalism, and citizenship. She discusses the place of Latina/o/x studies in relevant Hebrew Bible and New Testament scholarship on these topics. Ultimately this essay argues that Latina/o/x studies’ epistemological commitments to complexity, relationality, particularity, and collaborative knowledge-making can help ground critical interpretive approaches in biblical studies. She also imagines a way in which biblical studies—capaciously encompassing the study of Jewish and Christian literature in the ancient world as well as Jewish and Christian biblical reception and rejection histories, and the very category of scriptures more broadly—could deepen Latina/o/x studies' own thinking about canon formation and history.
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. In Critical Entanglements: Postmodern Theory and Biblical Studies, Andrew P. Wilson 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. Wilson 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. Wilson plots the distinctive ways in which postmodern theory has shaped scholarship of the bible while continuing to beckon in unanticipated ways from unexpected vantage points.
Volume Editor: John Christopher Thomas
This commentary, written from a distinctively Pentecostal perspective, is primarily for pastors, lay persons and Bible students. It is based upon the best scholarship, written in popular language, and communicates the meaning of the text with minimal technical distractions. The authors offer a running exposition on the text and extended comments on matters of special signicance for Pentecostals. They acknowledge and interact with alternative interpretations of individual passages. This commentary also provides periodic opportunities for reflection upon and personal response to the biblical text.
Postcolonialism and New Testament Studies
Author: Anna Runesson
The last thirty years have witnessed increasing diversity in methodology and perspectives within
biblical studies. One of the most dynamic and continually expanding contributions to this
development is that of postcolonial studies, known for its fresh approaches as well as for its
complex theoretical foundations. The present book aims at introducing both student and scholar to
this emerging field. Part One discusses in a structured and pedagogical way the theoretical location
of postcolonial biblical studies as well as its critique of and contributions to New Testament
exegesis more specifically. Part Two presents five articles by scholars from Africa, Asia, and North
America, illustrating the diversity of current postcolonial studies as applied to individual New
Testament texts.
Author: Ian Wilson
This essay offers an introduction to select disciplinary developments in the study of history and in historical study of the Hebrew Bible. It focuses first and foremost on “cultural history,” a broad category defined by nineteenth- and twentieth-century developments in anthropology and sociology, literary theory and linguistics, and other fields of study. The first part of the essay comments on developments since the so-called “linguistic turn,” highlighting some key works on culture, narrative, and memory, in order to establish a contemporary historical approach to biblical studies. It then turns to questions of the Hebrew Bible’s usefulness for historical study, and highlights studies of King David and the Davidic polity in ancient Israel/Judah, to show how scholars of the Bible have done historical work in recent years. And finally, it provides a case study of the book of Joshua, demonstrating how historians can utilize biblical texts as sources for cultural history.
Interchange between anthropology and biblical scholarship began because of perceived similarities between “simpler” societies and practices appearing in the Hebrew Bible. After some disengagement when anthropologists turned mainly to ethnographic fieldwork, new cross-disciplinary possibilities opened up when structuralism emerged in anthropology. Ritual and mythology were major topics receiving attention, and some biblical scholars partially adopted structuralist methods. In addition, anthropological research extended to complex societies and also had an impact upon historical studies. Modes of interpretation developed that reflected holistic perspectives along with a sensibility to ethnographic detail. This essay illustrates these trends in regard to rituals and to notions of purity in the Hebrew Bible, as well as to the place of literacy in Israelite society and culture. After discussing these themes, three examples of structuralist-inspired analysis are presented which in different ways take into account historical and literacy-based facets of the Bible.
Biblical and Theological Perspectives on Scripture, Authority, and Hermeneutics
Volume Editors: Hans Burger, Arnold Huijgen, and Eric Peels
Sola Scriptura offers a multi-disciplinary reflection on the theme of the priority and importance of Scripture in theology, from historical, biblical-theological and systematic-theological perspectives, aiming at the interaction between exegesis and dogmatics. Brian Brock and Kevin J. Vanhoozer offer concluding reflections on the theme, bringing the various contributions together.