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Shawn Kelley

Scholarship is currently engaged in a rich debate around the historical, hermeneutical and theological problems posed by the Bible's occasional yet enthusiastic endorsement of mass extermination. The article engages this ongoing scholarly conversation by way of a dialogue with the emerging field of genocide studies. Part I analyzes the scholarly debates that swirl around definitional and theoretical issues. Far from being an atavistic or irrational irruption into the ordered world of civilization, scholarship sees genocide as woven into the very structure of modern civilization. Part II and III look closely at specific biblical examples of mass extermination. Attention is paid to both ancient extermination campaigns and to textual moments where the Bible appears to endorse mass violence. The article concludes by challenging the widely held view that genocide arises out of ancient hatred and briefly sketches the wide range of ideological elements that inform genocidal thinking and practice.

How Things Feel

Affect Theory, Biblical Studies, and the (Im)Personal

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Maia Kotrosits

This essay is an attempt to do an intellectual history, one of affect theory both within and without biblical studies, as an ecology of thought. It is an “archive of feelings,” a series of thematic portraits, and a description of the landscape of the field of biblical studies through a set of frictions and express discontentments with its legacies, as well as a set of meaningful encounters under its auspices. That landscape is recounted with a fully experiential map, intentionally relativizing those more dominant sources and traditional modes of doing intellectual history. Affect theory and biblical studies, it turns out, both might be described as implicitly, and ambivalently, theological. But biblical studies has not only typically refused explicit theologizing, it has also refused explicit affectivity, and so affect theory presents biblical studies with both its own losses and new and vital possibilities.

The Play of Signifiers

Poststructuralism and Study of the Bible

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George Aichele

This volume presents a brief introduction to the scholarly methodology known as "poststructuralism." The first two chapters discuss basic concepts in poststructuralist study in general, as well as major concerns involved in poststructural study of any text. The focus is on the importance of the materiality of the signifier and how that materiality both plays a part in and disrupts the construction of meaning. The second two chapters show more specifically how these concepts and concerns come to bear on the study of biblical texts and related material. The focus is on a poststructural methodology that questions and challenges the meanings that readers assign to biblical texts. These four chapters are followed by a brief conclusion.

From Canonical Criticism to Ecumenical Exegesis?

A Study in Biblical Hermeneutics

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Peter-Ben Smit

This study explores and compares the role of the canon in the work of Brevard S. Childs, James A. Sanders, Peter Stuhlmacher, Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, and the Amsterdam School of exegesis, thus offering a broad overview of approaches and perspectives within the spectrum covered by canonical criticism. In doing so, both the theory of canonical criticism offered by each of the five is analysed and a sample of an actual exegesis is discussed. Observing that the interplay between text, reader, and community of interpretation is key to all of these approaches, the study proceeds to create a dialogue between canonical criticism and ecumenical hermeneutics, which leads to a proposal for an approach to exegesis that integrates elements of canonical hermeneutics, ecumenical hermeneutics, and intercultural perspectives.

Proverbs and the African Tree of Life

Grafting Biblical Proverbs on to Ghanaian Eʋe Folk Proverbs

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Dorothy BEA Akoto-Abutiate

In Proverbs and the African Tree of Life Dorothy BEA Akoto-Abutiate juxtaposes chosen sayings from Proverbs and selected Ewe Folk proverbs using the agricultural metaphor of “grafting,” which she calls a “hermeneutic of grafting.” Though these two sets of sayings come from completely different cultural contexts, Akoto argues that folk sayings/proverbs, which abound in Africa, should be considered as an already mature, established tree on to which a piece of the biblical tree is spliced or engrafted to produce hybridized fruits that have uniquely different tastes than the fruits of each tree individually. This metaphorical grafting process allows the message of the Bible (in Proverbs) to be understood, imbibed and appropriated in Africa.

Edited by Lee Roy Martin

In Pentecostal Hermeneutics: A Reader Lee Roy Martin brings together fourteen significant publications on biblical interpretation, along with a new introduction to Pentecostal hermeneutics and an extensive up-to-date bibliography on the topic. Organized chronologically, these essays trace the development of Pentecostal hermeneutics as an academic discipline.

The concerns of modern historical criticism have often stood at odds with Pentecostalism’s use of Scripture. Therefore, over the last three decades, Pentecostal scholars have attempted to identify the unique characteristics and interpretive practices of their tradition and to offer constructive proposals for a Pentecostal hermeneutic that would be critically valid and, at the same time, be consistent with the Pentecostal ethos and conducive for the continued development of the global Pentecostal movement.

Contributors include: Rickie D. Moore, John Christopher Thomas, Jackie David Johns, Cheryl Bridges Johns, John W. McKay, Robert O. Baker, Scott A. Ellington, Kenneth J. Archer, Robby Waddell, Andrew Davies, Clark H. Pinnock, and Lee Roy Martin.

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L. William Oliverio Jr.

In Theological Hermeneutics in the Classical Pentecostal Tradition: A Typological Account, L. William Oliverio Jr. accounts for the development of Classical Pentecostal theology, as theological hermeneutics, through four types: the original Classical Pentecostal hermeneutic, the Evangelical-Pentecostal hermeneutic, the contextual-Pentecostal hermeneutic, and the ecumenical-Pentecostal hermeneutic. Oliverio gives special attention to key figures in shaping Pentecostal theology and the underlying philosophical assumptions which informed their theological interpretations of reality. The text concludes with a philosophical basis for future Pentecostal theological hermeneutics within the contours of a hermeneutical realism that affirms both the hermeneutical nature of all theology and the implicit affirmation of realism within theological accounts.

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Robb Andrew Young

The Judean monarch Hezekiah remains one of the most significant figures in biblical studies. For all of his greatness, however, there is little about him that may be stated with certainty. This study provides a detailed reexamination of this enterprising ruler. It commences with data outside the biblical text from Assyrian records and ancient Near Eastern archaeology which may be brought to bear in reconstructing the historical Hezekiah, and subsequently proceeds to augment this picture based on his portrayal in the books of Kings, First Isaiah, and Chronicles. Its focus is on those issues that either remain contentious in biblical scholarship, or else have been resolved into a general consensus that needs to be called into question.

M.C.A. Korpel and Johannes C. de Moor

The silence of God is a recurring theme in modern reflection. It is not only addressed in theology, religious studies and philosophy, but also in literary fiction, film and theatre. The authors show that the concept of a silent deity emerged in the ancient Near East (including Greece). What did the Ancients mean when they assumed that under circumstances their deities remained silent? What reasons are discernible for silence between human beings and their gods? For the first time the close interrelation between the divine and the human in the revelatory process is demonstrated here on the basis of a wealth of translated ancient texts. In an intriguing epilogue, the authors explore the theological consequences of what they have found.

Series:

Edited by Bernhard Lang

The series ceased publication. This is the last volume in the series.

Formerly known by its subtitle “Internationale Zeitschriftenschau für Bibelwissenschaft und Grenzgebiete”, the International Review of Biblical Studies has served the scholarly community ever since its inception in the early 1950’s. Each annual volume includes approximately 2,000 abstracts and summaries of articles and books that deal with the Bible and related literature, including the Dead Sea Scrolls, Pseudepigrapha, Non-canonical gospels, and ancient Near Eastern writings. The abstracts – which may be in English, German, or French - are arranged thematically under headings such as e.g. “Genesis”, “Matthew”, “Greek language”, “text and textual criticism”, “exegetical methods and approaches”, “biblical theology”, “social and religious institutions”, “biblical personalities”, “history of Israel and early Judaism”, and so on. The articles and books that are abstracted and reviewed are collected annually by an international team of collaborators from over 300 of the most important periodicals and book series in the fields covered.