Carol Newsom


Barbara Green's monograph, How Are the Mighty Fallen?, opens new vistas for the interpretation of 1 Samuel. No other work has attempted to use Bakhtin's thought so systematically in its interpretive project. In one sense the book might be viewed as a kind of experimental workshop in which the usefulness and generative potential of Bakhtin's categories are systematically explored. One of the risks in such a procedure is that not everything will work equally well—or, conversely, that there will not finally be an integral relationship between the Bakhtinian categories and the reading that is produced. Perhaps the most useful applications of Bakhtinian categories are "answerability" and "architectonics." Two of his concepts employed by Green that are found less satisfactorily are his understanding of genre and chronotope.

The Self as Symbolic Space

Constructing Identity and Community at Qumran


Carol Newsom

This volume investigates critical practices by which the Qumran community constituted itself as a sectarian society. Key to the formation of the community was the reconstruction of the identity of individual members. In this way the “self” became an important symbolic space for the development of the ideology of the sect. Persons who came to experience themselves in light of the narratives and symbolic structures embedded in the community practices would have developed the dispositions of affinity and estrangement necessary for the constitution of a sectarian society. Drawing on various theories of discourse and practice in rhetoric, philosophy, and anthropology, the book examines the construction of the self in two central documents: the Serek ha-Yahad and the Hodayot.