Browse results

Exegesis in the Making

Postcolonialism and New Testament Studies

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.

The Cult of Mithras in Late Antiquity

Development, Decline and Demise ca. A.D. 270-430

Series:

David Walsh

In The Cult of Mithras in Late Antiquity David Walsh explores how the cult of Mithras developed across the 3rd and 4th centuries A.D. and why by the early 5th century the cult had completely disappeared. Contrary to the traditional narrative that the cult was violently persecuted out of existence by Christians, Walsh demonstrates that the cult’s decline was a far more gradual process that resulted from a variety of factors. He also challenges the popular image of the cult as a monolithic entity, highlighting how by the 4th century Mithras had come to mean different things to different people in different places.

Series:

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.

Series:

Harvey E. Goldberg

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.

A Dialogue between Haizi’s Poetry and the Gospel of Luke

Chinese Homecoming and the Relationship with Jesus Christ

Series:

Xiaoli Yang

In A Dialogue between Haizi’s Poetry and the Gospel of Luke Xiaoli Yang offers a conversation between the Chinese soul-searching found in Haizi’s (1964–1989) poetry and the gospel of Jesus Christ through Luke’s testimony. It creates a unique contextual poetic lens that appreciates a generation of the Chinese homecoming journey through Haizi’s poetry, and explores its relationship with Jesus Christ. As the dialogical journey, it names four stages of homecoming—roots, vision, journey and arrival. By taking an interdisciplinary approach—literary study, inter-cultural dialogue and comparative theology, Xiaoli Yang convincingly demonstrates that the common language between the poet Haizi and the Lukan Jesus provides a crucial and rich source of data for an ongoing table conversation between culture and faith.

Sola Scriptura

Biblical and Theological Perspectives on Scripture, Authority, and Hermeneutics

Series:

Edited by 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.

Series:

Steed Vernyl Davidson

Examining the legacies of European imperialism, Steed Vernyl Davidson traces how the Bible reflects strong affinities with empire and provides on-going justifications for empire and concentrations of power. Writing/Reading the Bible in Postcolonial Perspective traces the evolution of the Bible from its production in empires of antiquity to its supportive role in the development of modern imperialism. The work also engages the ambiguities of the Bible as anti-imperial tool. Set within an examination of postcolonial studies as a revolutionary and revisionary discourse, this work presses for a more vigorous postcolonializing of the Bible in Biblical Studies. A description of the contemporary features and manifestation of empire forms the context within which further exploration of postcolonial biblical critical work can take place. Following an assessment of previous work in the field, the challenges of intersectional work with queer studies, terrorism studies, technology, and ecological studies are laid out as future tasks

Handbook of Jewish Languages

Revised and Updated Edition

Edited by Lily Kahn and Aaron D. Rubin

This Handbook of Jewish Languages is an introduction to the many languages used by Jews throughout history, including Yiddish, Judezmo (Ladino) , and Jewish varieties of Amharic, Arabic, Aramaic, Berber, English, French, Georgian, Greek, Hungarian, Iranian, Italian, Latin American Spanish, Malayalam, Occitan (Provençal), Portuguese, Russian, Swedish, Syriac, Turkic (Karaim and Krymchak), Turkish, and more. Chapters include historical and linguistic descriptions of each language, an overview of primary and secondary literature, and comprehensive bibliographies to aid further research. Many chapters also contain sample texts and images. This book is an unparalleled resource for anyone interested in Jewish languages, and will also be very useful for historical linguists, dialectologists, and scholars and students of minority or endangered languages. This paperback edition has been updated to include dozens of additional bibliographic references.

Series:

Jennifer L. Koosed

This work provides a brief introduction to feminist interpretation of scripture. Feminist interpretation is first grounded in feminism as an intellectual and political movement. Next, this introduction briefly recounts the origins of feminist readings of the Bible with attention to both early readings and the beginnings of feminist biblical scholarship in the academy. Feminist biblical scholarship is not a single methodology, but rather an approach that can shape any reading method. As a discipline, it began with literary-critical readings (especially of the Hebrew Bible) but soon also broached questions of women’s history (especially in the New Testament and Christian origins). Since these first forays, feminist interpretation has influenced almost every type of biblical scholarship. The third section of this essay, then, looks at gender archaeology, feminist poststructuralism and postcolonial readings, and newer approaches informed by gender and queer theory. Finally, it ends by examining feminist readings of Eve.

Masculinity and the Bible

Survey, Models, and Perspectives

Series:

Peter-Ben Smit

Most characters in the Bible are men, yet they are hardly analysed as such. Masculinity and the Bible provides the first comprehensive survey of approaches that remedy this situation. These are studies that utilize insights from the field of masculinity studies to further biblical studies. The volume offers a representative overview of both fields and presents a new exegesis of a well-known biblical text (Mark 6) to show how this approach leads to new insights.

By presenting the field of masculinity studies, the volume performs a service for those working in biblical studies and related disciplines, but have not explored this approach yet. At the same time, the volume shows, by surveying the past two decades of publications in the field, what results have been achieved so far and where open questions remain. In the exegesis of Mark 6, it becomes clear that one of these challenges, the often very specific and intersectional character of masculinity, can be addressed successfully when consciously combining approaches such as narrative and ritual analyses.