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Israel in the Persian Period

The Fifth and Fourth Centuries B.C.E.

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Erhard S. Gerstenberger

Although the Persians are seldom mentioned explicitly in the Hebrew Bible, the Persian period (539–331 B.C.E.) gave new shape to ancient Israel, as the biblical text evolved and the foundations of the Judeo-Christian tradition were laid. Therefore, contrary to earlier views, Persian politics, culture, and religion were the setting within which the nascent Jewish community lived and took shape. Against the backdrop of the history and intellectual world of Persia, Gerstenberger describes this exciting 200-year period in the history of Israel, which saw both the creation of biblical literature (historical, prophetic, and poetic writings, especially the Psalms) and important theological developments (e.g., the shape and characteristics of the Jewish community, monotheism, and new means of shaping one’s world).

Jesus' Parable of the Rich Fool

Luke 12:13-34 among Ancient Conversations on Death and Possessions

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Matthew S. Rindge

Rindge reads Luke’s parable of the Rich Fool (12:16–21) as a sapiential narrative and situates this parable within a Second Temple intertextual conversation on the interplay of death and possessions. A rich analysis of Jewish (Qoheleth, Ben Sira, 1 Enoch, Testament of Abraham) and Greco-Roman (Lucian, Seneca) texts reveals a web of disparate perspectives regarding how possessions can be used meaningfully, given life’s fragility and death’s inevitability and uncertain timing. Departing from standard interpretations of Luke’s parable as a simple critique of avarice, Rindge explicates the multiple ways in which the parable and its immediate literary context (12:13–34) appropriate, reconfigure, and illustrate this contested conversation, and shows how these themes are chosen and adapted for Luke’s own existential, ethical, and theological concerns.

At the Edges of States

Dynamics of State Formation in the Indonesian Borderlands

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Michael Eilenberg

Set in West Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo, this study explores the shifting relationships between border communities and the state along the political border with East Malaysia. The book rests on the premise that remote border regions offer an exciting study arena that can tell us important things about how marginal citizens relate to their nation-state.
The basic assumption is that central state authority in the Indonesian borderlands has never been absolute, but waxes and wanes, and state rules and laws are always up for local interpretation and negotiation. In its role as key symbol of state sovereignty, the borderland has become a place were central state authorities are often most eager to govern and exercise power. But as illustrated, the borderland is also a place were state authority is most likely to be challenged, questioned and manipulated as border communities often have multiple loyalties that transcend state borders and contradict imaginations of the state as guardians of national sovereignty and citizenship.
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Contemporary Indonesian Film

Spirits of Reform and Ghosts from the Past

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Katinka van Heeren

This highly informative book explores the world of Post-Soeharto Indonesian audio-visual media in the exiting era of Reform. From a multidisciplinary approach it considers a wide variety of issues such as mainstream and alternative film practices, ceremonial and independent film festivals, film piracy, history and horror, documentary, television soaps, and Islamic films, as well as censorship from the state and street. Through the perspective of discourses on, and practices of film production, distribution, and exhibition, this book gives a detailed insight into current issues of Indonesia’s social and political situation, where Islam, secular realities, and ghosts on and off screen, mingle or clash.
Full text (Open Access)

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Max Richter

Musical Worlds in Yogyakarta is an ethnographic account of a vibrant Indonesian city during the turbulent early post-Soeharto years. The book examines musical performance in public contexts ranging from the street and neighbourhood through to commercial venues and state environments such as Yogyakarta’s regional parliament, its military institutions, universities and the Sultan’s palace. It focuses on the musical tastes and practices of street workers, artists, students and others. From street-corner jam sessions to large-scale concerts, a range of genres emerge that cohere around notions of campursari (“mixed essences”) and jalanan (“of the street”).
Musical Worlds in Yogyakarta addresses themes of social identity and power, counterpoising Pierre Bourdieu’s theories on class, gender and nation with the author’s alternative perspectives of inter-group social capital, physicality and grounded cosmopolitanism. The author argues that Yogyakarta is exemplary of how everyday people make use of music to negotiate issues of power and at the same time promote peace and intergroup appreciation in culturallydiverse inner-city settings.
Full text (Open Access)
www.musicethnography.net

Nuaulu Religious Practices

The Frequency and Reproduction of Rituals in Moluccan Society

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Roy F. Ellen

How religious practices are reproduced has become a major theoretical issue. This work examines data on Nuaulu ritual performances collected over a 30 year period, comparing different categories of event in terms of frequency and periodicity. It seeks to identify the influencing factors and the consequences for continuity.
Such an approach enables a focus on related issues: variation in performance, how rituals change in relation to material and social conditions, the connections between different ritual types, the way these interact as cycles, and the extent to which fidelity of transmission is underpinned by a common model or repertoire of elements.
This monograph brings to completion a long-term study of the religious behaviour of the Nuaulu, a people of the island of Seram in the Indonesian province of Maluku. Ethnographically, it is important for several reasons: the Nuaulu are one of the few animist societies remaining on Seram; the data emphasize patterns of practices in a part of Indonesia where studies have hitherto been more concerned with meaning and symbolic classification; and because Nuaulu live in an area where recent political tension has been between Christians and Muslims. Nuaulu are, paradoxically, both caught between these two groups, and apart from them.
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Regime Change and Ethnic Politics in Indonesia

Dayak Politics of West Kalimantan

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Taufiq Tanasaldy

When the Indonesian New Order regime fell in 1998, regional politics with strong ethnic content emerged across the country. In West Kalimantan the predominant feature was particularly that of the Dayaks. This surge, however, was not unprecedented. After centuries of occupying a subordinate place in the political and social hierarchy under the nominal rule of the Malay sultanates, Dayaks became involved in an enthusiastic political emancipation movement from 1945.
The Dayaks secured the governorship as well as the majority of the regional executive head positions before they were shunned by the New Order regime. This book examines the development of Dayak politics in West Kalimantan from the colonial times until the first decade of the 21th century. It asks how and why Dayak politics has experienced drastic changes since 1945. It will look at the effect of regime change, the role of the individual leaders and organizations, the experience of marginalization, and conflicts on the course of Dayaks politics. It will also examine ethnic relations and recent political development up to 2010 in the province.
Full text (Open Access)

Pentateuch, Hexateuch, or Enneateuch?

Identifying Literary Works in Genesis through Kings

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Edited by Thomas Dozeman, Thomas Römer and Konrad Schmid

The identification of literary works in the Pentateuch and the Former Prophets is a hallmark of the modern historical-critical interpretation of the Hebrew Bible. The theories of a Tetrateuch, a Hexateuch, or a Deuteronomistic History have played a central role in recovering the literary history of the Pentateuch and the Former Prophets. The breakdown of these methodologies in recent research has forced scholars to reevaluate the criteria for identifying literary works in the formation of the Hebrew Bible. The present volume explores anew, without presupposition or exclusion, the criteria by which interpreters identify literary works in these books as a resource for recovering the composition history of the literature. It also brings North American and European approaches to the topic into a common discussion. The contributors are Christoph Berner, Erhard Blum, Suzanne Boorer, David M. Carr, Thomas B. Dozeman, Cynthia Edenburg, Michael Konkel, Christoph Levin, Thomas Römer, Konrad Schmid, and Felipe Blanco Wißmann.

The Bible in/and Popular Culture

A Creative Encounter

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Edited by Philip Culbertson and Elaine Wainwright

In popular culture, the Bible is generally associated with films: The Passion of the Christ, The Ten Commandments, Jesus of Montreal, and many others. Less attention has been given to the relationship between the Bible and other popular media such as hip-hop, reggae, rock, and country and western music; popular and graphic novels; animated television series; and apocalyptic fantasy. This collection of essays explores a range of media and the way the Bible features in them, applying various hermeneutical approaches, engaging with critical theory, and providing conceptual resources and examples of how the Bible reads popular culture—and how popular culture reads the Bible. This useful resource will be of interest for both biblical and cultural studies. The contributors are Elaine M. Wainwright, Michael Gilmour, Mark McEntire, Dan W. Clanton Jr., Philip Culbertson, Jim Perkinson, Noel Leo Erskine, Tex Sample, Roland Boer, Terry Ray Clark, Steve Taylor, Tina Pippin, Laura Copier, Jaap Kooijman, Caroline Vander Stichele, and Erin Runions.

History of Biblical Interpretation

Volume 3: Renaissance, Reformation, Humanism

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Henning Graf Reventlow

Volume 3 of History of Biblical Interpretation deals with an era—Renaissance, Reformation, and humanism—characterized by major changes, such as the rediscovery of the writings of antiquity and the newly invented art of printing. These developments created the context for one of the most important periods in the history of biblical interpretation, one that combined both philological insights made possible by the now-accessible ancient texts with new theological impulses and movements. As representative of this period, this volume examines the lives and teaching of Johann Reuchlin, Erasmus, Martin Luther, Philipp Melanchthon, John Calvin, Thomas Müntzer, Hugo Grotius, and a host of other influential exegetes.