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Toward Understanding the Hebrew Canon: A Form-Critical Approach

Published: Sep 2013
Original price was: £50.00.Current price is: £20.00.
Toward Understanding the Hebrew Canon: A Form-Critical Approach explores in an original and reflective way the relations between the linguistic forms, ideas and life involvements of biblical genres. The various forms of the Hebrew Bible reflect and correspond to the richly diverse life experiences of the Hebrew people, which include varied legal, cultic and erotic interactions. Divine speech is a prominent literary form in the Hebrew Bible, according to Buss's analysis. It has an emotive character, and is highly personal. Such speech establishes a series of Origin events that run from creation to the foundation of kingship; it both provides norms for life and struggles with human recalcitrance. Divine speech also provides evaluative assessments of present and envisaged situations, and it promises a truly good End. The humans to whom divine speech is directed are called on to acknowledge the divine reality, which they can do through self-transcendence, as a part of selfhood. In ethics, a receptive attitude acknowledges the unconditional worth of others, which is supported by Deity. Human speech is usually also emotive, although on occasion it is concerned rather with dry historical actualities. It is intertwined with divine speech in narratives and prophecies. In these fourteen essays (one of them previously unpublished) the renowned biblical scholar Martin Buss gathers an array of his work from many years, bringing to bear on the Hebrew Bible his extensive researches in cross-cultural data and in other disciplines such as philosophy and social psychology.
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Toward Understanding the Hebrew Canon: A Form-Critical Approach

Original price was: £50.00.Current price is: £20.00.
Toward Understanding the Hebrew Canon: A Form-Critical Approach explores in an original and reflective way the relations between the linguistic forms, ideas and life involvements of biblical genres. The various forms of the Hebrew Bible reflect and correspond to the richly diverse life experiences of the Hebrew people, which include varied legal, cultic and erotic interactions. Divine speech is a prominent literary form in the Hebrew Bible, according to Buss's analysis. It has an emotive character, and is highly personal. Such speech establishes a series of Origin events that run from creation to the foundation of kingship; it both provides norms for life and struggles with human recalcitrance. Divine speech also provides evaluative assessments of present and envisaged situations, and it promises a truly good End. The humans to whom divine speech is directed are called on to acknowledge the divine reality, which they can do through self-transcendence, as a part of selfhood. In ethics, a receptive attitude acknowledges the unconditional worth of others, which is supported by Deity. Human speech is usually also emotive, although on occasion it is concerned rather with dry historical actualities. It is intertwined with divine speech in narratives and prophecies. In these fourteen essays (one of them previously unpublished) the renowned biblical scholar Martin Buss gathers an array of his work from many years, bringing to bear on the Hebrew Bible his extensive researches in cross-cultural data and in other disciplines such as philosophy and social psychology.
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The Reception of the Hebrew Bible in the Septuagint and the New Testament: Essays in Memory of Aileen Guilding

Published: July 2013
Original price was: £50.00.Current price is: £22.50.
Aileen Guilding was Professor of Biblical History and Literature in the University of Sheffield from 1959 to 1965, and was known especially for her monograph The Fourth Gospel and Jewish Worship: A Study of the Relation of St. John's Gospel to the Ancient Jewish Lectionary System (Oxford, 1960), which enjoyed a succès d’estime in its day as an exceptionally fascinating and learned book. She is celebrated in Sheffield as the first female professor in the University; she was also the first woman to hold a chair in theology or religion in the United Kingdom. After her death at the age of 94 a conference on themes relevant to her special interests was held in Sheffield as part of a meeting of the Society for Old Testament Study, and the papers read there are presented in this volume, published in the 101st year after her birth.
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The Reception of the Hebrew Bible in the Septuagint and the New Testament: Essays in Memory of Aileen Guilding

Original price was: £50.00.Current price is: £22.50.
Aileen Guilding was Professor of Biblical History and Literature in the University of Sheffield from 1959 to 1965, and was known especially for her monograph The Fourth Gospel and Jewish Worship: A Study of the Relation of St. John's Gospel to the Ancient Jewish Lectionary System (Oxford, 1960), which enjoyed a succès d’estime in its day as an exceptionally fascinating and learned book. She is celebrated in Sheffield as the first female professor in the University; she was also the first woman to hold a chair in theology or religion in the United Kingdom. After her death at the age of 94 a conference on themes relevant to her special interests was held in Sheffield as part of a meeting of the Society for Old Testament Study, and the papers read there are presented in this volume, published in the 101st year after her birth.
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The Joseph of Genesis as Hellenistic Scientist

Published: July 2013
Original price was: £75.00.Current price is: £18.95.
To today's confrontations between religion and science Jovanovic contrasts the vibrant collaboration that characterizes Jewish, Christian, and Islamic beginnings. Designation of the patriarch Joseph as both a dream interpreter and a diviner (Gen. 44.4, 15) is a specific example of biblical appropriation of the ancient Mediterranean understanding of cup divination and dream interpretation as among the scientific activities of its social, spiritual and academic elite. Jovanovic argues that the image of Joseph as a Hellenistic scientist nourished the popularity of early Jewish and Christian literature on Joseph. The works of Josephus and Philo, Rabbinic midrashim, and the newly discovered The Ethiopic Story of Joseph, as well as Jubilees, The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs and Joseph and Aseneth, hold that Joseph's profession was that of a scientist of vision. The interpretation of the symbolic images in dreams and cup divination was a scientific method of communication with the divine and of prediction of the future, which Jovanovic calls 'revelation by visual effects'. Joseph's image as an Egyptian academic provoked varied responses in Hellenistic Jewish circles. The dismay expressed by Jubilees and Philo arose from Joseph's perceived betrayal of religious and traditional values. The acclamation of Josephus and The Ethiopic Story of Joseph demonstrates that a number of Hellenistic Jews believed that their creative integration into the vibrant Hellenistic culture could be successful and deepen their own Jewish identity. While previous scholarship has focused on representations of Joseph either as an ethical model or as a type of Christ, this is the first major work that explores the image of Joseph as an ancient scholar and spiritual expert.
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The Joseph of Genesis as Hellenistic Scientist

Original price was: £75.00.Current price is: £18.95.
To today's confrontations between religion and science Jovanovic contrasts the vibrant collaboration that characterizes Jewish, Christian, and Islamic beginnings. Designation of the patriarch Joseph as both a dream interpreter and a diviner (Gen. 44.4, 15) is a specific example of biblical appropriation of the ancient Mediterranean understanding of cup divination and dream interpretation as among the scientific activities of its social, spiritual and academic elite. Jovanovic argues that the image of Joseph as a Hellenistic scientist nourished the popularity of early Jewish and Christian literature on Joseph. The works of Josephus and Philo, Rabbinic midrashim, and the newly discovered The Ethiopic Story of Joseph, as well as Jubilees, The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs and Joseph and Aseneth, hold that Joseph's profession was that of a scientist of vision. The interpretation of the symbolic images in dreams and cup divination was a scientific method of communication with the divine and of prediction of the future, which Jovanovic calls 'revelation by visual effects'. Joseph's image as an Egyptian academic provoked varied responses in Hellenistic Jewish circles. The dismay expressed by Jubilees and Philo arose from Joseph's perceived betrayal of religious and traditional values. The acclamation of Josephus and The Ethiopic Story of Joseph demonstrates that a number of Hellenistic Jews believed that their creative integration into the vibrant Hellenistic culture could be successful and deepen their own Jewish identity. While previous scholarship has focused on representations of Joseph either as an ethical model or as a type of Christ, this is the first major work that explores the image of Joseph as an ancient scholar and spiritual expert.
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Ben Sira and the Men Who Handle Books: Gender and the Rise of Canon-Consciousness

Published: May 2013
Original price was: £50.00.Current price is: £12.50.
What have women to do with the rise of canon-consciousness in early Judaism? Quite a lot, Claudia Camp argues, if the book written by the early second-century BCE scribe, Ben Sira, is any indication. One of the few true misogynists in the biblical tradition, Ben Sira is beset with gender anxiety, fear that his women will sully his honor, their shame causing his name to fail from the eternal memory of his people. Yet the same Ben Sira appropriates the idealized figure of cosmic Woman Wisdom from Proverbs, and identifies her with 'the book of the covenant of the most high God, the law that Moses commanded us'. This, then, is Ben Sira's dilemma: a woman (Wisdom) can admit him to eternity but his own women can keep him out. It is Camp's thesis that these conflicted perceptions of gender are fundamental to Ben Sira's appropriation and production of authoritative religious literature, and that a critical analysis of his gender ideology is thus essential for understanding his relationship to an emerging canon. Ben Sira writes a book, and writes himself into his book, creating a possession into which he can sublimate his anxiety about the women he cannot truly possess and the God he cannot truly trust. What is more, if Ben Sira can be considered representative of his scribal class and context, his work may also provide a window into aspects of the larger cultural process of canon building, including the question of whether we would have a canon at all —or have the canon we have —if the men in that particular patriarchal culture had not coded it in the gendered terms that Ben Sira did.
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Ben Sira and the Men Who Handle Books: Gender and the Rise of Canon-Consciousness

Original price was: £50.00.Current price is: £12.50.
What have women to do with the rise of canon-consciousness in early Judaism? Quite a lot, Claudia Camp argues, if the book written by the early second-century BCE scribe, Ben Sira, is any indication. One of the few true misogynists in the biblical tradition, Ben Sira is beset with gender anxiety, fear that his women will sully his honor, their shame causing his name to fail from the eternal memory of his people. Yet the same Ben Sira appropriates the idealized figure of cosmic Woman Wisdom from Proverbs, and identifies her with 'the book of the covenant of the most high God, the law that Moses commanded us'. This, then, is Ben Sira's dilemma: a woman (Wisdom) can admit him to eternity but his own women can keep him out. It is Camp's thesis that these conflicted perceptions of gender are fundamental to Ben Sira's appropriation and production of authoritative religious literature, and that a critical analysis of his gender ideology is thus essential for understanding his relationship to an emerging canon. Ben Sira writes a book, and writes himself into his book, creating a possession into which he can sublimate his anxiety about the women he cannot truly possess and the God he cannot truly trust. What is more, if Ben Sira can be considered representative of his scribal class and context, his work may also provide a window into aspects of the larger cultural process of canon building, including the question of whether we would have a canon at all —or have the canon we have —if the men in that particular patriarchal culture had not coded it in the gendered terms that Ben Sira did.
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From Judah to Judaea: Socio-Economic Structures and Processes in the Persian Period

Published: May 2013
£16.50£22.00
It has long been recognized that the Persian period is crucial to the history of the formation of the biblical corpora. The essays presented in this volume explore this critically important era, reconstructing the socio-economic shifts that took place as well as the religio-theological environment of the Judean community and its neighbours. The topics of this volume, sociological, archaeological and theological, include: ethnicities and administration in Persian-era Palestine (Yigal); the historical origin of the concept of the piety of the poor at Qumran (Ro); the development of the theological concept of Yhwh's punitive justice (Ro); social, cultural and demographic transformations in Persian-period Judah (Faust); changes in Judah and its neighbouring provinces in the fourth century BCE (Fantalkin and Tal); some Greek views of the Persian empire (Sano). The papers collected in this volume were presented at an international conference held at International Christian University (ICU) in Tokyo, February 17 —19, 2011, a testimony to the fruitfulness of this unusual Asian —Israeli scholarly dialogue.
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From Judah to Judaea: Socio-Economic Structures and Processes in the Persian Period

£16.50£22.00
It has long been recognized that the Persian period is crucial to the history of the formation of the biblical corpora. The essays presented in this volume explore this critically important era, reconstructing the socio-economic shifts that took place as well as the religio-theological environment of the Judean community and its neighbours. The topics of this volume, sociological, archaeological and theological, include: ethnicities and administration in Persian-era Palestine (Yigal); the historical origin of the concept of the piety of the poor at Qumran (Ro); the development of the theological concept of Yhwh's punitive justice (Ro); social, cultural and demographic transformations in Persian-period Judah (Faust); changes in Judah and its neighbouring provinces in the fourth century BCE (Fantalkin and Tal); some Greek views of the Persian empire (Sano). The papers collected in this volume were presented at an international conference held at International Christian University (ICU) in Tokyo, February 17 —19, 2011, a testimony to the fruitfulness of this unusual Asian —Israeli scholarly dialogue.
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Now My Eye Sees You: Unveiling an Apocalyptic Job

Published: May 2013
£14.50£22.50
This groundbreaking study on the book of Job is the first systematic effort to reveal and organize its apocalyptic impulses. Drawing on such scholars as John Collins, Christopher Rowland and Frank Moore Cross, Johnson argues that interpreting Job through the lens of apocalypse yields a coherent reading that is able to incorporate all of the seemingly disparate literary features of the book that historically stymie interpreters. An apocalyptic reading of Job begins with the presence of three important revelations: Eliphaz's vision, the hymn to wisdom and the Yahweh speeches. A literary division following these revelations contributes to the book's overall emphasis, which is to persevere in the midst of suffering. Thorny questions such as the reason Elihu was not rebuked by God in the epilogue receive fresh treatment from an apocalyptic paradigm. In tracing the history of the interpretation of Job, Johnson offers evidence that both Jewish and Christian traditions recognized many of these 'apocalyptic' elements. For example, the LXX version of Job contains a resurrection plus in the epilogue, the Testament of Job emphasizes the influence of Satan, the Qumran sect may have drawn strength from the book's message to persevere, and the 'apocalyptic' passage of James upholds Job as a model for perseverance. Viewing Job as a nascent form of apocalypse may also resuscitate Von Rad's hypothesis that apocalypse grew out of wisdom categories over against the more commonly accepted prophetic works. Students of Job at all levels are treated here to a stimulating appraisal that will open their eyes to the apocalyptic characteristics woven throughout this diverse book. This monograph will make important contributions to genre studies, the history of interpretation and be valuable to those interested in the intersection of wisdom and apocalypse.
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Now My Eye Sees You: Unveiling an Apocalyptic Job

£14.50£22.50
This groundbreaking study on the book of Job is the first systematic effort to reveal and organize its apocalyptic impulses. Drawing on such scholars as John Collins, Christopher Rowland and Frank Moore Cross, Johnson argues that interpreting Job through the lens of apocalypse yields a coherent reading that is able to incorporate all of the seemingly disparate literary features of the book that historically stymie interpreters. An apocalyptic reading of Job begins with the presence of three important revelations: Eliphaz's vision, the hymn to wisdom and the Yahweh speeches. A literary division following these revelations contributes to the book's overall emphasis, which is to persevere in the midst of suffering. Thorny questions such as the reason Elihu was not rebuked by God in the epilogue receive fresh treatment from an apocalyptic paradigm. In tracing the history of the interpretation of Job, Johnson offers evidence that both Jewish and Christian traditions recognized many of these 'apocalyptic' elements. For example, the LXX version of Job contains a resurrection plus in the epilogue, the Testament of Job emphasizes the influence of Satan, the Qumran sect may have drawn strength from the book's message to persevere, and the 'apocalyptic' passage of James upholds Job as a model for perseverance. Viewing Job as a nascent form of apocalypse may also resuscitate Von Rad's hypothesis that apocalypse grew out of wisdom categories over against the more commonly accepted prophetic works. Students of Job at all levels are treated here to a stimulating appraisal that will open their eyes to the apocalyptic characteristics woven throughout this diverse book. This monograph will make important contributions to genre studies, the history of interpretation and be valuable to those interested in the intersection of wisdom and apocalypse.
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Jeremiah Closer Up: The Prophet and the Book

Published: May 2013
£12.50£18.00
Closer up than what? Many recent studies of Jeremiah leave us with but a faint glimmer of this great Hebrew prophet; in some he disappears completely into later tradition. Some scholars think that the book of Jeremiah lacks historical veracity: when it was composed, supposedly in the late exilic or postexilic periods, historical memories had been dimmed and ideology had come to dominate the Jeremiah legacy. The present essays combine to argue that both the prophet and his book can be viewed “closer up” than the imagination of many modern-day interpreters will allow. The first three essays discuss the text, rhetoric and composition of the book of Jeremiah. The longer Hebrew text is given preference over the Greek Septuagint text, which means that we can dispense entirely with the idea that scribes were busily writing, editing and expanding the Jeremiah book in Babylon. Rhetorical and other delimiting criteria show that Jeremiah’s so-called ‘Temple Sermon’ (7.1-15) is rather a cluster of three oracles manifesting a rudimentary form of logic. Finally, a correlation of Gedaliah’s murder with the exile of 582 argues for a nearly four-year existence of the remnant community at Mizpah, more than enough time for Jeremiah and Baruch to write up the events following the destruction of Jerusalem. The remaining essays discuss Jeremiah’s views of history, the created order, the covenant, and nations of the world, as well as the prophet’s so-called ‘confessions’. These extraordinary insights into the interior disposition of a Hebrew prophet reveal how Jeremiah felt about the word he had to preach, and what impact it had on him personally. The confessions are analysed both as formal psalm-like laments, and as gems of rhetorical composition.
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Jeremiah Closer Up: The Prophet and the Book

£12.50£18.00
Closer up than what? Many recent studies of Jeremiah leave us with but a faint glimmer of this great Hebrew prophet; in some he disappears completely into later tradition. Some scholars think that the book of Jeremiah lacks historical veracity: when it was composed, supposedly in the late exilic or postexilic periods, historical memories had been dimmed and ideology had come to dominate the Jeremiah legacy. The present essays combine to argue that both the prophet and his book can be viewed “closer up” than the imagination of many modern-day interpreters will allow. The first three essays discuss the text, rhetoric and composition of the book of Jeremiah. The longer Hebrew text is given preference over the Greek Septuagint text, which means that we can dispense entirely with the idea that scribes were busily writing, editing and expanding the Jeremiah book in Babylon. Rhetorical and other delimiting criteria show that Jeremiah’s so-called ‘Temple Sermon’ (7.1-15) is rather a cluster of three oracles manifesting a rudimentary form of logic. Finally, a correlation of Gedaliah’s murder with the exile of 582 argues for a nearly four-year existence of the remnant community at Mizpah, more than enough time for Jeremiah and Baruch to write up the events following the destruction of Jerusalem. The remaining essays discuss Jeremiah’s views of history, the created order, the covenant, and nations of the world, as well as the prophet’s so-called ‘confessions’. These extraordinary insights into the interior disposition of a Hebrew prophet reveal how Jeremiah felt about the word he had to preach, and what impact it had on him personally. The confessions are analysed both as formal psalm-like laments, and as gems of rhetorical composition.
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Poetry and Theology in the Book of Lamentations: The Aesthetics of an Open Text

Published: Mar 2013
Original price was: £60.00.Current price is: £15.00.
The book of Lamentations is a challenge to its readers. Its ambiguous theology, strident protestations against its deity, and haunting imagery confound interpreters. This monograph engages the enigma of Lamentations by assessing its theology. It does so, however, neither by tracing a single theological perspective through the book nor by reconstructing the history of the composition of the book. Rather, Heath Thomas assesses the poetry of Lamentations by offering a close analysis of each poem in the book. He reconsiders the acrostic as the foundational structure for the poetry, reads the book as an intentionally composed whole, and assesses the pervasive use of repetition, metaphor, and allusion. For the first time in the field, the analysis here is grounded on the insights of the Italian semiotician Umberto Eco. Drawing upon Eco's distinction between 'open' and 'closed' textualities, Thomas argues that Lamentations represents a distinctively 'open' text, one that presents its reader with a myriad of surprising avenues to interpret the poetry. This distinctive approach avoids a polarization in the portrait of God in Lamentations, arguing that its poetry neither justifies God outright nor does it exonerate God's people in the exilic age. Rather, it enables these theological visions to interrelate with each another, inviting the reader to make sense of the interaction. The ambiguous theological vision of Lamentations, then, is not a problem that the reader is intended to overcome but an integral feature in the construction of meaning. This original monograph offers a new perspective on how the poetry informs our appreciation of theological thought in the exilic age.
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Poetry and Theology in the Book of Lamentations: The Aesthetics of an Open Text

Original price was: £60.00.Current price is: £15.00.
The book of Lamentations is a challenge to its readers. Its ambiguous theology, strident protestations against its deity, and haunting imagery confound interpreters. This monograph engages the enigma of Lamentations by assessing its theology. It does so, however, neither by tracing a single theological perspective through the book nor by reconstructing the history of the composition of the book. Rather, Heath Thomas assesses the poetry of Lamentations by offering a close analysis of each poem in the book. He reconsiders the acrostic as the foundational structure for the poetry, reads the book as an intentionally composed whole, and assesses the pervasive use of repetition, metaphor, and allusion. For the first time in the field, the analysis here is grounded on the insights of the Italian semiotician Umberto Eco. Drawing upon Eco's distinction between 'open' and 'closed' textualities, Thomas argues that Lamentations represents a distinctively 'open' text, one that presents its reader with a myriad of surprising avenues to interpret the poetry. This distinctive approach avoids a polarization in the portrait of God in Lamentations, arguing that its poetry neither justifies God outright nor does it exonerate God's people in the exilic age. Rather, it enables these theological visions to interrelate with each another, inviting the reader to make sense of the interaction. The ambiguous theological vision of Lamentations, then, is not a problem that the reader is intended to overcome but an integral feature in the construction of meaning. This original monograph offers a new perspective on how the poetry informs our appreciation of theological thought in the exilic age.
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Psalms 1-2: Gateway to the Psalter

Published: Jan 2013
Original price was: £50.00.Current price is: £20.00.
As against the form-critical approach, which sees the first two psalms as more or less random examples of the torah and royal types, this study argues for a deliberate and cogent arrangement of Psalms 1 and 2. A detailed linguistic analysis of and comparison between these two apparently disparate psalms at the outset of the book reveals the purpose for their juxtaposition. The principal characters in the first psalm are further described in the second. The man of Psalm 1 is portrayed in eschatological terms as an impeccable royal, sacerdotal, and all-conquering military figure. He appears again in Psalm 2 but as a heavenly-enthroned victorious priest and king. His opponents, the wicked in Psalm 1, are identified in Psalm 2 as recalcitrant rulers and peoples who reject his rule and seek to do away with him. However, the calculated divine response to their plotting assures their ultimate defeat unless they submit to him. This cohesive and coherent introductory pair of psalms sets a pattern at the beginning for reading all those that follow. Indeed, a thorough understanding of the first two psalms and their integrated message is a prerequisite for understanding the purpose of the entire book.
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Psalms 1-2: Gateway to the Psalter

Original price was: £50.00.Current price is: £20.00.
As against the form-critical approach, which sees the first two psalms as more or less random examples of the torah and royal types, this study argues for a deliberate and cogent arrangement of Psalms 1 and 2. A detailed linguistic analysis of and comparison between these two apparently disparate psalms at the outset of the book reveals the purpose for their juxtaposition. The principal characters in the first psalm are further described in the second. The man of Psalm 1 is portrayed in eschatological terms as an impeccable royal, sacerdotal, and all-conquering military figure. He appears again in Psalm 2 but as a heavenly-enthroned victorious priest and king. His opponents, the wicked in Psalm 1, are identified in Psalm 2 as recalcitrant rulers and peoples who reject his rule and seek to do away with him. However, the calculated divine response to their plotting assures their ultimate defeat unless they submit to him. This cohesive and coherent introductory pair of psalms sets a pattern at the beginning for reading all those that follow. Indeed, a thorough understanding of the first two psalms and their integrated message is a prerequisite for understanding the purpose of the entire book.
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The Book of Isaiah: Its Composition and Final Form

Published: Oct 2012
Original price was: £80.00.Current price is: £20.00.
Study of the book of Isaiah has in recent times been strongly marked by a tension between synchronic and diachronic approaches. The first is favoured mainly by English-speaking, the second by German-speaking scholars. Berges's book attempts to mediate between the two poles, arguing that the final form analysis and the tracing of the development of that form are deeply interdependent. This new research paradigm is applied here to the entire text of the book of Isaiah. Berges works consistently from the synchronic to the diachronic and back again to the evolved synchronous final form. Features that have been repeatedly observed —the cross-connections, key word associations, resumption of themes, and especially the bracketing of the book by chaps. 1 and 66 —are traces of a deliberate interweaving of various small compositions as well as of larger literary redactions. The paradigm most suited to the book of Isaiah in all its complexity is not that of one comprehensive overall structure or final redaction, but that of smaller compositions that build on one another, come into conversation with one another, and, each in its own way, bring into play specific contemporary problems. We should not force a common thematic denominator on the book, but it becomes clear that Jerusalem and Zion belong to the basic tenor of the book of Isaiah as it was developed and refashioned through the centuries. The Book of Isaiah: Its Composition and Final Form is translated by Millard C. Lind from its German original, Das Buch Jesaja: Komposition und Endgestalt (Freiburg: Herder, 1998).
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The Book of Isaiah: Its Composition and Final Form

Original price was: £80.00.Current price is: £20.00.
Study of the book of Isaiah has in recent times been strongly marked by a tension between synchronic and diachronic approaches. The first is favoured mainly by English-speaking, the second by German-speaking scholars. Berges's book attempts to mediate between the two poles, arguing that the final form analysis and the tracing of the development of that form are deeply interdependent. This new research paradigm is applied here to the entire text of the book of Isaiah. Berges works consistently from the synchronic to the diachronic and back again to the evolved synchronous final form. Features that have been repeatedly observed —the cross-connections, key word associations, resumption of themes, and especially the bracketing of the book by chaps. 1 and 66 —are traces of a deliberate interweaving of various small compositions as well as of larger literary redactions. The paradigm most suited to the book of Isaiah in all its complexity is not that of one comprehensive overall structure or final redaction, but that of smaller compositions that build on one another, come into conversation with one another, and, each in its own way, bring into play specific contemporary problems. We should not force a common thematic denominator on the book, but it becomes clear that Jerusalem and Zion belong to the basic tenor of the book of Isaiah as it was developed and refashioned through the centuries. The Book of Isaiah: Its Composition and Final Form is translated by Millard C. Lind from its German original, Das Buch Jesaja: Komposition und Endgestalt (Freiburg: Herder, 1998).
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Making a Difference: Essays on the Bible and Judaism in Honor of Tamara Cohn Eskenazi

Published: Oct 2012
Original price was: £75.00.Current price is: £18.95.
Tamara Cohn Eskenazi has a special place in contemporary biblical scholarship. Among the first to bring a focus of scholarly attention to the period of ancient Israel's creativity after the Exile, she has also been a leader in foregrounding the Jewish tradition within the interpretative discourse of biblical scholars. And as a woman scholar, she has advanced the study of issues in the Hebrew Bible that impinge on the concerns of women ancient and modern. Tamara Eskenazi was awarded the 2008 National Jewish Book Award for her volume The Torah: A Women's Commentary and the 2011 National Jewish Book Award in Women's Studies for her commentary on Ruth in the Jewish Publication Society Bible Commentary series. The 26 articles offered to Tamara Eskenazi by her friends in this volume represent the range of her interests in all things biblical and Jewish. From the Book of Genesis to the New Testament to modern Hebrew fiction, from technical studies on the prophets or Qumran to penetrating insights on her beloved philosopher Levinas, this volume beautifully represents the range and depth of Jewish culture.
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Making a Difference: Essays on the Bible and Judaism in Honor of Tamara Cohn Eskenazi

Original price was: £75.00.Current price is: £18.95.
Tamara Cohn Eskenazi has a special place in contemporary biblical scholarship. Among the first to bring a focus of scholarly attention to the period of ancient Israel's creativity after the Exile, she has also been a leader in foregrounding the Jewish tradition within the interpretative discourse of biblical scholars. And as a woman scholar, she has advanced the study of issues in the Hebrew Bible that impinge on the concerns of women ancient and modern. Tamara Eskenazi was awarded the 2008 National Jewish Book Award for her volume The Torah: A Women's Commentary and the 2011 National Jewish Book Award in Women's Studies for her commentary on Ruth in the Jewish Publication Society Bible Commentary series. The 26 articles offered to Tamara Eskenazi by her friends in this volume represent the range of her interests in all things biblical and Jewish. From the Book of Genesis to the New Testament to modern Hebrew fiction, from technical studies on the prophets or Qumran to penetrating insights on her beloved philosopher Levinas, this volume beautifully represents the range and depth of Jewish culture.
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Words, Ideas, Worlds: Biblical Essays in Honour of Yairah Amit

Published: Aug 2012
Original price was: £75.00.Current price is: £19.50.
This volume brings together fourteen essays by Israeli, European and American scholars honouring the distinct contribution of Yairah Amit to the literary study of the Hebrew Bible and to her public role, fostering especially the place of the Hebrew Bible in Israeli education. In biblical studies she has made significant contributions to the study of redactional and editorial activity, which she has always viewed from a rhetorical and literary point of view. These aspects were uniquely developed in her work on the books of Judges and Chronicles, in which literary considerations always lead to the recognition of the ideology behind the redactor’s work. Another key theme of hers has been overt and hidden polemics expressed or suggested by the narrative text. The studies assembled in the present volume deal with the many aspects of Amit’s work, from the biblical and post-biblical down to the mediaeval and the modern period. Central fields are the art of the redactor and inner-biblical polemics (Diana Edelman, Cynthia Edenburg, Nadav Na’aman, Meira Polliack, Dalit Rom-Shiloni), literary scrutiny (Ed Greenstein, Lillian Klein Abensohn, Frank Polak), ideology in social and religious contexts (Ehud Ben Zvi, Israel Knohl), and feminist and cultural studies in a wider sense (Athalya Brenner, Cheryl Exum, Yael Feldman, Shulamit Valler). This is the fifth volume of the Amsterdam Studies in the Bible and Religion (ed. Athalya Brenner), a sub-series of the Bible in the Modern World and Hebrew Bible Monographs.
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Words, Ideas, Worlds: Biblical Essays in Honour of Yairah Amit

Original price was: £75.00.Current price is: £19.50.
This volume brings together fourteen essays by Israeli, European and American scholars honouring the distinct contribution of Yairah Amit to the literary study of the Hebrew Bible and to her public role, fostering especially the place of the Hebrew Bible in Israeli education. In biblical studies she has made significant contributions to the study of redactional and editorial activity, which she has always viewed from a rhetorical and literary point of view. These aspects were uniquely developed in her work on the books of Judges and Chronicles, in which literary considerations always lead to the recognition of the ideology behind the redactor’s work. Another key theme of hers has been overt and hidden polemics expressed or suggested by the narrative text. The studies assembled in the present volume deal with the many aspects of Amit’s work, from the biblical and post-biblical down to the mediaeval and the modern period. Central fields are the art of the redactor and inner-biblical polemics (Diana Edelman, Cynthia Edenburg, Nadav Na’aman, Meira Polliack, Dalit Rom-Shiloni), literary scrutiny (Ed Greenstein, Lillian Klein Abensohn, Frank Polak), ideology in social and religious contexts (Ehud Ben Zvi, Israel Knohl), and feminist and cultural studies in a wider sense (Athalya Brenner, Cheryl Exum, Yael Feldman, Shulamit Valler). This is the fifth volume of the Amsterdam Studies in the Bible and Religion (ed. Athalya Brenner), a sub-series of the Bible in the Modern World and Hebrew Bible Monographs.
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In Praise of Editing in the Hebrew Bible: Collected Essays in Retrospect

Published: Jun 2012
Original price was: £75.00.Current price is: £30.00.
Yairah Amit is a leading Israeli scholar of the Hebrew Bible who has published some of her articles only in Hebrew. Most of them are here translated for the first time. As she compiled the volume, she discovered that this collection of 19 essays had a common denominator: they are all about the process of editing that has gone on in the creation of the Hebrew Bible, a process that Amit looks on with some favour. Hence her title, In Praise of Editing . The Bible, she argues, is a long carefully edited book, which means that it is not a chance agglomeration of materials bound together, but rather a complete and carefully selected library. Among the essays in this volume are: Who Decided to Open the Torah with the Creation of the Sabbath?, The Garden of Eden as Utopia, Repetition as Poetic Principle, Who Is Afraid of Multiple Voices?, Editorial Considerations Regarding Ending, Who Is Lent to the Lord? Ask the Editor, To Include or Not to Include? Editorial Considerations Regarding the Whole. What makes this volume unique among collections of essays is her decision to add a personal preface to each article, highlighting it from an additional subjective angle. Sometimes the preface reflects her relationship to the subject and its ideology, sometimes the circumstances in which the article was written or published. At other times, readers may learn about the teachers who guided her first steps in the field, and about her own relationship to various issues in biblical research. These prefaces, she believes, show the researcher not as a rigid professional, but as a more rounded human person. This is the fourth volume of the Amsterdam Studies in the Bible and Religion (ed. Athalya Brenner), a sub-series of the Bible in the Modern World and Hebrew Bible Monographs.
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In Praise of Editing in the Hebrew Bible: Collected Essays in Retrospect

Original price was: £75.00.Current price is: £30.00.
Yairah Amit is a leading Israeli scholar of the Hebrew Bible who has published some of her articles only in Hebrew. Most of them are here translated for the first time. As she compiled the volume, she discovered that this collection of 19 essays had a common denominator: they are all about the process of editing that has gone on in the creation of the Hebrew Bible, a process that Amit looks on with some favour. Hence her title, In Praise of Editing . The Bible, she argues, is a long carefully edited book, which means that it is not a chance agglomeration of materials bound together, but rather a complete and carefully selected library. Among the essays in this volume are: Who Decided to Open the Torah with the Creation of the Sabbath?, The Garden of Eden as Utopia, Repetition as Poetic Principle, Who Is Afraid of Multiple Voices?, Editorial Considerations Regarding Ending, Who Is Lent to the Lord? Ask the Editor, To Include or Not to Include? Editorial Considerations Regarding the Whole. What makes this volume unique among collections of essays is her decision to add a personal preface to each article, highlighting it from an additional subjective angle. Sometimes the preface reflects her relationship to the subject and its ideology, sometimes the circumstances in which the article was written or published. At other times, readers may learn about the teachers who guided her first steps in the field, and about her own relationship to various issues in biblical research. These prefaces, she believes, show the researcher not as a rigid professional, but as a more rounded human person. This is the fourth volume of the Amsterdam Studies in the Bible and Religion (ed. Athalya Brenner), a sub-series of the Bible in the Modern World and Hebrew Bible Monographs.
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The Thematic Unity of the Book of the Twelve

Published: Jun 2012
Original price was: £75.00.Current price is: £30.00.
“Return to me”, declares Yhwh of Hosts, “and I will return to you”, declares Yhwh of Hosts. The sentence stands at the head of the prophecy of Zechariah (1.3). But what does it mean to 'return to Yhwh?' And what does it mean that Yhwh 'will return to you'? LeCureux argues that it is this call to repentance, and Yhwh's responses to it, that form the unifying and organizing theme of return for the Book of the Twelve. While studies on the development and composition of the Twelve have proved fruitful in recent years, this book attempts to expand on those works by looking closely at the final form of the Twelve, particularly of its opening and closing books (Hosea —Joel, Zechariah —Malachi), and the role that canonical position and theme play within the Book. This project begins by defining the function of theme in biblical books, and then compares the role theme plays in Isaiah with its role in the Twelve, before engaging in the primary task of exegesis. LeCureux examines the use of 'return' in the Twelve, showing that it is the call to return that controls the events of the Day of Yhwh. Going further, the exegesis uncovers the links between the return imperatives of Hosea 14, Joel 2, Zechariah's own calls to return and Malachi's concluding question, 'How are we to return?'(3.7). What is ultimately revealed is the multifaceted nature of God's relationship with his people, one that involves the people's struggle to turn from covenantal disobedience toward Yhwh in repentance, as well as Yhwh's own turning from judgment toward his people in blessing.
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The Thematic Unity of the Book of the Twelve

Original price was: £75.00.Current price is: £30.00.
“Return to me”, declares Yhwh of Hosts, “and I will return to you”, declares Yhwh of Hosts. The sentence stands at the head of the prophecy of Zechariah (1.3). But what does it mean to 'return to Yhwh?' And what does it mean that Yhwh 'will return to you'? LeCureux argues that it is this call to repentance, and Yhwh's responses to it, that form the unifying and organizing theme of return for the Book of the Twelve. While studies on the development and composition of the Twelve have proved fruitful in recent years, this book attempts to expand on those works by looking closely at the final form of the Twelve, particularly of its opening and closing books (Hosea —Joel, Zechariah —Malachi), and the role that canonical position and theme play within the Book. This project begins by defining the function of theme in biblical books, and then compares the role theme plays in Isaiah with its role in the Twelve, before engaging in the primary task of exegesis. LeCureux examines the use of 'return' in the Twelve, showing that it is the call to return that controls the events of the Day of Yhwh. Going further, the exegesis uncovers the links between the return imperatives of Hosea 14, Joel 2, Zechariah's own calls to return and Malachi's concluding question, 'How are we to return?'(3.7). What is ultimately revealed is the multifaceted nature of God's relationship with his people, one that involves the people's struggle to turn from covenantal disobedience toward Yhwh in repentance, as well as Yhwh's own turning from judgment toward his people in blessing.
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Three Old Testament Theologies for Today: Helge S. Kvanvig, Walter Brueggemann and Erhard Gerstenberger

Published: Jun 2012
Original price was: £50.00.Current price is: £20.00.
This book is a critical analysis and comparison of three Old Testament theologies, those by Helge S. Kvanvig, Historisk Bibel og bibelsk historie (1999), Walter Brueggemann, Theology of the Old Testament (1997), and Erhard S. Gerstenberger, Theologies of the Old Testament (2002). Since Kvanvig's book is written in Norwegian, his book is not generally known among Old Testament scholars outside Scandinavia. The three volumes have different theological profiles. Kvanvig, unlike other Old Testament theologians, allows theology to develop from his analyses of the biblical narratives and the strategies available to readers. Gerstenberger presents Old Testament theology as a plurality of theologies, and his book is as much a history of Israelite religion and ancient Israel's social history as a theology proper. Brueggemann sees Old Testament theology within the framework of a virtual trial between Israel and Yahweh. All three books are to some degree postmodern in their approach to Old Testament theology, Gerstenberger to a lesser degree, Brueggemann to a greater degree. Hagelia argues that Kvanvig's book could with profit be read as a prolegomenon to Brueggemann's book, whereas Gerstenberger's book follows a different track. On the basis of these three eminent contributions, the author outlines a possible future for the business of writing Old Testament theologies, suggesting that future theologies will be much more in conversation with contemporary issues, ethical, political and social, than the traditional theologies of the past have been.
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Three Old Testament Theologies for Today: Helge S. Kvanvig, Walter Brueggemann and Erhard Gerstenberger

Original price was: £50.00.Current price is: £20.00.
This book is a critical analysis and comparison of three Old Testament theologies, those by Helge S. Kvanvig, Historisk Bibel og bibelsk historie (1999), Walter Brueggemann, Theology of the Old Testament (1997), and Erhard S. Gerstenberger, Theologies of the Old Testament (2002). Since Kvanvig's book is written in Norwegian, his book is not generally known among Old Testament scholars outside Scandinavia. The three volumes have different theological profiles. Kvanvig, unlike other Old Testament theologians, allows theology to develop from his analyses of the biblical narratives and the strategies available to readers. Gerstenberger presents Old Testament theology as a plurality of theologies, and his book is as much a history of Israelite religion and ancient Israel's social history as a theology proper. Brueggemann sees Old Testament theology within the framework of a virtual trial between Israel and Yahweh. All three books are to some degree postmodern in their approach to Old Testament theology, Gerstenberger to a lesser degree, Brueggemann to a greater degree. Hagelia argues that Kvanvig's book could with profit be read as a prolegomenon to Brueggemann's book, whereas Gerstenberger's book follows a different track. On the basis of these three eminent contributions, the author outlines a possible future for the business of writing Old Testament theologies, suggesting that future theologies will be much more in conversation with contemporary issues, ethical, political and social, than the traditional theologies of the past have been.
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Joseph and Aseneth: A Christian Book

Published: Feb 2012
Original price was: £55.00.Current price is: £25.00.
Joseph and Aseneth , a book of the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, is a love story about the biblical Joseph and his Egyptian wife Aseneth which, in richly symbolic language, tells how the idol worshipper Aseneth was converted to belief in the one God. In recent decades, it has featured prominently in discussions of Second Temple Judaism as a testimony to a Hellenistic diaspora Judaism that neither observed the rules of conversion to Judaism ( giyyur ) nor cared much for the laws of the Torah. Rivka Nir offers a completely different understanding. Joseph and Aseneth , she argues, teaches us nothing about Second Temple Judaism. Rather, its vocabulary, ideas, symbols and structure become fully comprehensible only when viewed against the background of Syriac Christianity of the third and fourth century. In this setting, Aseneth and Joseph are symbolic and typological images: Aseneth symbolizes the church, Joseph is a prototype of Christ, and their marriage is a symbolic representation of the eternal marriage between Christ and the church. Aseneth's religious transformation should be understood as conversion to Christianity, an example for polytheists to follow. Turning our attention to the central role virginity plays in the story, Nir addresses the problematic scene of the honeycomb and the bees, reading it as a call to those joining the church to take a vow of virginity and resolve to lead a life of sexual abstinence. Through Nir's detailed analysis of the symbols and metaphors of Joseph and Aseneth in a Christian context, the book coalesces into a tightly integrated and meaningful whole, on both the theological and the symbolic levels.
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Joseph and Aseneth: A Christian Book

Original price was: £55.00.Current price is: £25.00.
Joseph and Aseneth , a book of the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, is a love story about the biblical Joseph and his Egyptian wife Aseneth which, in richly symbolic language, tells how the idol worshipper Aseneth was converted to belief in the one God. In recent decades, it has featured prominently in discussions of Second Temple Judaism as a testimony to a Hellenistic diaspora Judaism that neither observed the rules of conversion to Judaism ( giyyur ) nor cared much for the laws of the Torah. Rivka Nir offers a completely different understanding. Joseph and Aseneth , she argues, teaches us nothing about Second Temple Judaism. Rather, its vocabulary, ideas, symbols and structure become fully comprehensible only when viewed against the background of Syriac Christianity of the third and fourth century. In this setting, Aseneth and Joseph are symbolic and typological images: Aseneth symbolizes the church, Joseph is a prototype of Christ, and their marriage is a symbolic representation of the eternal marriage between Christ and the church. Aseneth's religious transformation should be understood as conversion to Christianity, an example for polytheists to follow. Turning our attention to the central role virginity plays in the story, Nir addresses the problematic scene of the honeycomb and the bees, reading it as a call to those joining the church to take a vow of virginity and resolve to lead a life of sexual abstinence. Through Nir's detailed analysis of the symbols and metaphors of Joseph and Aseneth in a Christian context, the book coalesces into a tightly integrated and meaningful whole, on both the theological and the symbolic levels.
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The Other Face of God: ‘I Am That I Am’ Reconsidered

Published: Feb 2012
Original price was: £75.00.Current price is: £22.50.
‘I am that I am’ (Exodus 3.14) has been an exegetical puzzle to many generations of biblical scholars as well as theologians: is it about the present or the future, is it about God’s presence or his hiddenness? Den Hertog argues that such exegetical questions have been framed too narrowly, and that this deeply suggestive statement about God needs to be set in a broader context. Firstly, the statement must be understood within the narrative of Moses’ call as an answer to his problem: how can his being launched on a radically new, prophetic mission be reconciled with the features of the God of the patriarchs? This book substantiates the view that the meaning of the statement is deliberately indefinite: ‘I may be who I may be’. In its context, it points to Yhwh’s other face, the possibility of his manifesting himself differently from the way he is thought to be. Secondly, the after-history of this text should also be considered, since it has shaped our understanding in one way or another. This book pays particular attention to the renderings by the ancient and early modern versions (including the King James Version). The point of departure is the Septuagint rendering ‘I am the one being’, which has traditionally been associated with the Greek philosophical concept of absolute Being. This rendering, however, appears to have originally signified God’s active presence: ‘I am the one who shows himself to be there’. Thirdly, this fundamental theological statement invites further a psychoanalytic interpretation. Den Hertog adopts a Lacanian perspective, according to which ‘I am that I am’ represents an irruption of an ‘I’ from nowhere, from beyond usual thought and expectation. In its context this means that in a situation of crisis a new orientation is born, one that undermines the pharaonic powers.
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The Other Face of God: ‘I Am That I Am’ Reconsidered

Original price was: £75.00.Current price is: £22.50.
‘I am that I am’ (Exodus 3.14) has been an exegetical puzzle to many generations of biblical scholars as well as theologians: is it about the present or the future, is it about God’s presence or his hiddenness? Den Hertog argues that such exegetical questions have been framed too narrowly, and that this deeply suggestive statement about God needs to be set in a broader context. Firstly, the statement must be understood within the narrative of Moses’ call as an answer to his problem: how can his being launched on a radically new, prophetic mission be reconciled with the features of the God of the patriarchs? This book substantiates the view that the meaning of the statement is deliberately indefinite: ‘I may be who I may be’. In its context, it points to Yhwh’s other face, the possibility of his manifesting himself differently from the way he is thought to be. Secondly, the after-history of this text should also be considered, since it has shaped our understanding in one way or another. This book pays particular attention to the renderings by the ancient and early modern versions (including the King James Version). The point of departure is the Septuagint rendering ‘I am the one being’, which has traditionally been associated with the Greek philosophical concept of absolute Being. This rendering, however, appears to have originally signified God’s active presence: ‘I am the one who shows himself to be there’. Thirdly, this fundamental theological statement invites further a psychoanalytic interpretation. Den Hertog adopts a Lacanian perspective, according to which ‘I am that I am’ represents an irruption of an ‘I’ from nowhere, from beyond usual thought and expectation. In its context this means that in a situation of crisis a new orientation is born, one that undermines the pharaonic powers.
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A Critical Engagement: Essays on the Hebrew Bible in Honour of J. Cheryl Exum

Published: Nov 2011
Original price was: £75.00.Current price is: £30.00.
This volume honours the distinctive contribution to Hebrew Bible studies over four decades by Cheryl Exum, Professor Emerita of Biblical Studies in the University of Sheffield. Her special interests have lain, first, in the modern literary criticism of the Hebrew Bible, where her key work was Tragedy and Biblical Narrative: Arrows of the Almighty . A second area has been feminist criticism of the Hebrew Bible; here her notable contributions were Fragmented Women: Feminist (Sub)versions of Biblical Narratives and Plotted, Shot, and Painted: Cultural Representations of Biblical Women . A more recent, and now almost favourite, theme is the Bible and cultural studies, especially the Bible and art. Key works here have been a series of edited volumes, such as Beyond the Biblical Horizon: The Bible and the Arts , and The Bible in Film / The Bible and Film . Her fourth area of continuing interest has been the Song of Songs, with many articles culminating in her perceptive commentary in the Old Testament Library series. In this rich volume, 25 of her friends and colleagues offer her papers on all these themes. Several are on or around the Song of Songs (Graeme Auld, Fiona Black, David Clines, Sara Japhet, Martti Nissinen, Yair Zakovitch), and topics of feminist interest (Yairah Amit, Athalya Brenner, Claudia Camp, Hugh Pyper, Jack Sasson). Cultural studies are represented by Alice Bach, Hans Barstad, Andrew Davies, David Gunn, Martin O'Kane, John Sawyer and Ellen van Wolde, and literary criticism by Michael Fox, Edwin Good, Norman Gottwald, Edward Greenstein, Francis Landy, Burke Long and Hugh Williamson.
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A Critical Engagement: Essays on the Hebrew Bible in Honour of J. Cheryl Exum

Original price was: £75.00.Current price is: £30.00.
This volume honours the distinctive contribution to Hebrew Bible studies over four decades by Cheryl Exum, Professor Emerita of Biblical Studies in the University of Sheffield. Her special interests have lain, first, in the modern literary criticism of the Hebrew Bible, where her key work was Tragedy and Biblical Narrative: Arrows of the Almighty . A second area has been feminist criticism of the Hebrew Bible; here her notable contributions were Fragmented Women: Feminist (Sub)versions of Biblical Narratives and Plotted, Shot, and Painted: Cultural Representations of Biblical Women . A more recent, and now almost favourite, theme is the Bible and cultural studies, especially the Bible and art. Key works here have been a series of edited volumes, such as Beyond the Biblical Horizon: The Bible and the Arts , and The Bible in Film / The Bible and Film . Her fourth area of continuing interest has been the Song of Songs, with many articles culminating in her perceptive commentary in the Old Testament Library series. In this rich volume, 25 of her friends and colleagues offer her papers on all these themes. Several are on or around the Song of Songs (Graeme Auld, Fiona Black, David Clines, Sara Japhet, Martti Nissinen, Yair Zakovitch), and topics of feminist interest (Yairah Amit, Athalya Brenner, Claudia Camp, Hugh Pyper, Jack Sasson). Cultural studies are represented by Alice Bach, Hans Barstad, Andrew Davies, David Gunn, Martin O'Kane, John Sawyer and Ellen van Wolde, and literary criticism by Michael Fox, Edwin Good, Norman Gottwald, Edward Greenstein, Francis Landy, Burke Long and Hugh Williamson.
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Emotions in Biblical Law: A Cognitive Science Approach

Published: Oct 2011
Original price was: £50.00.Current price is: £19.50.
This study pioneers the use of insights from cognitive sciences, such as evolutionary biology, neuroscience, and developmental psychology, as heuristic tools for interpreting ancient texts. The approach could be described as 'psycho-biological'. The focus is on emotions in the various Pentateuchal legal collections. Kazen discusses the role of disgust, empathy, fear, and a sense of justice, for particular moral and ritual issues: purity and holiness; humanitarian concern for vulnerable categories; ethnocentrism and xenophobia; divine punishment and demonic threat; revenge, compensation, and ransom (kofer), together with removal (kipper) rites. The book consists of two main parts, framed by an introductory chapter and a concluding discussion. In the first part, Kazen explores cognitive foundations, including biological and neuroscientific underpinnings for basic affects, and the role of culture in shaping both conventional morality and ritual behaviour. Four particular emotions are then outlined. In the second part, these insights from cognitive science are applied in analyses of particular texts. After an overview of the Pentateuchal legal collections, each of the four emotions is dealt with in a separate chapter. Kazen constantly relates a cognitive science approach to more traditional source and redaction-critical analysis, regarding them as complementary. As a result, the Pentateuchal legal collections are seen as emotional texts, expressing strong affects —which influences our understanding of the character of Israelite 'law'. Kazen suggests that interaction and conflict between various emotions can explain discrepancies and tensions between humanitarian concerns and ethnocentrism, and between empathy and justice. He also demonstrates that viewing emotions as common denominators contains a potential for solving some difficult and long-standing conundrums. He argues that a focus on the human embodied experience rather than on theological convictions and theoretical ideas may avoid some interpretative dead ends and open up new avenues for understanding ancient texts.
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Emotions in Biblical Law: A Cognitive Science Approach

Original price was: £50.00.Current price is: £19.50.
This study pioneers the use of insights from cognitive sciences, such as evolutionary biology, neuroscience, and developmental psychology, as heuristic tools for interpreting ancient texts. The approach could be described as 'psycho-biological'. The focus is on emotions in the various Pentateuchal legal collections. Kazen discusses the role of disgust, empathy, fear, and a sense of justice, for particular moral and ritual issues: purity and holiness; humanitarian concern for vulnerable categories; ethnocentrism and xenophobia; divine punishment and demonic threat; revenge, compensation, and ransom (kofer), together with removal (kipper) rites. The book consists of two main parts, framed by an introductory chapter and a concluding discussion. In the first part, Kazen explores cognitive foundations, including biological and neuroscientific underpinnings for basic affects, and the role of culture in shaping both conventional morality and ritual behaviour. Four particular emotions are then outlined. In the second part, these insights from cognitive science are applied in analyses of particular texts. After an overview of the Pentateuchal legal collections, each of the four emotions is dealt with in a separate chapter. Kazen constantly relates a cognitive science approach to more traditional source and redaction-critical analysis, regarding them as complementary. As a result, the Pentateuchal legal collections are seen as emotional texts, expressing strong affects —which influences our understanding of the character of Israelite 'law'. Kazen suggests that interaction and conflict between various emotions can explain discrepancies and tensions between humanitarian concerns and ethnocentrism, and between empathy and justice. He also demonstrates that viewing emotions as common denominators contains a potential for solving some difficult and long-standing conundrums. He argues that a focus on the human embodied experience rather than on theological convictions and theoretical ideas may avoid some interpretative dead ends and open up new avenues for understanding ancient texts.
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The Holy Seed Has Been Defiled: The Interethnic Marriage Dilemma in Ezra 9-10

Published: Sep 2011
Original price was: £45.00.Current price is: £20.00.
In the Book of Ezra —Nehemiah, Ezra commands Yehudite men to put away their foreign wives to avoid further defiling the 'holy seed'. What is the meaning of this warning? Are Ezra's words to be understood as a concern about race-mixing or is it emblematic of some more complex set of problems prevalent in the fledgling postexilic community? Ezra's words, with their seemingly racialized thinking, have been influential in much political, religious and popular culture in the USA. It has been a backdrop for constructing racial reality for centuries, melding seemingly biblical ideologies with accepted European Enlightenment-era ideas about racial superiority and inferiority. Willa Johnson combines archaeological data with social-scientific theory to argue for a new interpretation. In this anthropological and narratological analysis, Johnson views Ezra's edict in the light of ancient Yehudite concerns over ethnicity, gender, sexuality and social class following the return from exile. In this context, she argues, the warning against intermarriage appears to be an effort to reconstitute identity in the aftermath of the cataclysmic political dominance by first the Babylonian and then the Persian empires. This book represents a postmodern interdisciplinary approach to understanding an ancient biblical socio-political situation. As such, it offers fresh perspectives on ways that interpretations of the Bible continue to reflect the ideologies of its interpreters.
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The Holy Seed Has Been Defiled: The Interethnic Marriage Dilemma in Ezra 9-10

Original price was: £45.00.Current price is: £20.00.
In the Book of Ezra —Nehemiah, Ezra commands Yehudite men to put away their foreign wives to avoid further defiling the 'holy seed'. What is the meaning of this warning? Are Ezra's words to be understood as a concern about race-mixing or is it emblematic of some more complex set of problems prevalent in the fledgling postexilic community? Ezra's words, with their seemingly racialized thinking, have been influential in much political, religious and popular culture in the USA. It has been a backdrop for constructing racial reality for centuries, melding seemingly biblical ideologies with accepted European Enlightenment-era ideas about racial superiority and inferiority. Willa Johnson combines archaeological data with social-scientific theory to argue for a new interpretation. In this anthropological and narratological analysis, Johnson views Ezra's edict in the light of ancient Yehudite concerns over ethnicity, gender, sexuality and social class following the return from exile. In this context, she argues, the warning against intermarriage appears to be an effort to reconstitute identity in the aftermath of the cataclysmic political dominance by first the Babylonian and then the Persian empires. This book represents a postmodern interdisciplinary approach to understanding an ancient biblical socio-political situation. As such, it offers fresh perspectives on ways that interpretations of the Bible continue to reflect the ideologies of its interpreters.
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