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The World of the Child in the Hebrew Bible

Published: Oct 2015
£18.50£50.00
The question 'What is a child?' is not easily answered. To make us aware of the multiple factors that contribute to the social construction of childhood in the Hebrew Bible, Naomi Steinberg draws on ethno-historical evidence and incorporates the insights of contemporary social studies of childhood. Through close readings of Genesis 21, 1 Samuel 1 and Exodus 21.22-25, she argues that chronological age and biological immaturity do not determine the boundaries of childhood in biblical Israel. The social constructions of childhood in the Hebrew Bible were based on what the child could do for the parent, not vice versa. Children were their parents' property and were used to fulfil their parents' desires and needs. Not all children had the same experiences of childhood, of course. For example, whether a child was born into a monogamous or polygamous family shaped the course of its future. Other relevant factors in the construction of the multiplicities of childhoods included gender, birth order, and the socio-political historical contexts of ancient Israel. Steinberg convincingly corrects the notion that childhood is a static category in the human life cycle, showing that meanings of childhood are not generic and cannot be carried over from one society to another. This fascinating study, in which the author draws fruitfully on her personal cross-cultural experience of children's lives in Guatemala, exposes the reality that childhood in the Hebrew Bible was radically different from present-day childhood.
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The World of the Child in the Hebrew Bible

£18.50£50.00
The question 'What is a child?' is not easily answered. To make us aware of the multiple factors that contribute to the social construction of childhood in the Hebrew Bible, Naomi Steinberg draws on ethno-historical evidence and incorporates the insights of contemporary social studies of childhood. Through close readings of Genesis 21, 1 Samuel 1 and Exodus 21.22-25, she argues that chronological age and biological immaturity do not determine the boundaries of childhood in biblical Israel. The social constructions of childhood in the Hebrew Bible were based on what the child could do for the parent, not vice versa. Children were their parents' property and were used to fulfil their parents' desires and needs. Not all children had the same experiences of childhood, of course. For example, whether a child was born into a monogamous or polygamous family shaped the course of its future. Other relevant factors in the construction of the multiplicities of childhoods included gender, birth order, and the socio-political historical contexts of ancient Israel. Steinberg convincingly corrects the notion that childhood is a static category in the human life cycle, showing that meanings of childhood are not generic and cannot be carried over from one society to another. This fascinating study, in which the author draws fruitfully on her personal cross-cultural experience of children's lives in Guatemala, exposes the reality that childhood in the Hebrew Bible was radically different from present-day childhood.
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The Other Face of God: ‘I Am That I Am’ Reconsidered

Published: Feb 2012
£75.00
‘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

£75.00
‘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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Women in the Pentateuch: A Feminist and Source-Critical Analysis

Published: Aug 2009
£50.00
For the first time, literary source criticism and feminist biblical interpretation are here brought together systematically. Taking into account recent trends in Pentateuchal source criticism, Shectman divides the narrative into priestly and non-priestly threads, tracing the portrayal of women in each. In both sources, as Moses comes to the fore, women recede increasingly into the background, with the result that far fewer women appear in Exodus —Numbers than appear in Genesis. A stark contrast between the sources also emerges from this study: non-P contains many more fully developed narrative traditions focused on women, particularly those involving childbirth, pointing to an original genre of narratives unique to biblical women. However, with the combination of traditions in the Pentateuch, these traditions are absorbed into the patriarchal ones, culminating in Genesis 17, P's programmatic statement of the promise and covenant. P significantly limits the roles of women that were preserved in non-P. This difference between the sources is primarily the result of increased centralization: whereas the non-P material reflects a period before centralization had become entrenched, in P, centralization has taken hold, with the result that women's roles are more limited. In addition to a new and detailed source-critical analysis of women in the Pentateuch, this book also provides a detailed overview of feminist biblical criticism, from the work of Elizabeth Cady Stanton up to the present, which will be useful for those interested in the history of biblical, particularly feminist, interpretation.
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Women in the Pentateuch: A Feminist and Source-Critical Analysis

£50.00
For the first time, literary source criticism and feminist biblical interpretation are here brought together systematically. Taking into account recent trends in Pentateuchal source criticism, Shectman divides the narrative into priestly and non-priestly threads, tracing the portrayal of women in each. In both sources, as Moses comes to the fore, women recede increasingly into the background, with the result that far fewer women appear in Exodus —Numbers than appear in Genesis. A stark contrast between the sources also emerges from this study: non-P contains many more fully developed narrative traditions focused on women, particularly those involving childbirth, pointing to an original genre of narratives unique to biblical women. However, with the combination of traditions in the Pentateuch, these traditions are absorbed into the patriarchal ones, culminating in Genesis 17, P's programmatic statement of the promise and covenant. P significantly limits the roles of women that were preserved in non-P. This difference between the sources is primarily the result of increased centralization: whereas the non-P material reflects a period before centralization had become entrenched, in P, centralization has taken hold, with the result that women's roles are more limited. In addition to a new and detailed source-critical analysis of women in the Pentateuch, this book also provides a detailed overview of feminist biblical criticism, from the work of Elizabeth Cady Stanton up to the present, which will be useful for those interested in the history of biblical, particularly feminist, interpretation.
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Longing for Egypt and Other Unexpected Biblical Tales

Published: Aug 2008
£50.00
Readers of all persuasions have a tendency to privilege simple interpretations over complex, unsettling, readings. The more fraught the issue, the more often we find in the history of interpretation that a simple reading has been generated that masks its complexity. 'Longing for Egypt and Other Unexpected Biblical Tales' explores seven cases of textual complexity masked by simple readings. One chapter uncovers a counter-intuitive longing for Egypt alongside the Exodus account of liberation from persecution. Another shows how what appears to be a critical attitude in the Bible towards other gods may reflect inner-Israelite tensions rather than some principled antipathy toward others. Yet another confronts the praise of God as a perfect king with the use of the language of divine kingship as a vehicle for constructive criticism. All seven chapters share a focus on the formation of identity. Arguably the Bible's most sensitive subject, for its authors and for present-day readers, this topic has generated a host of simple readings that conceal immense complexity.
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Longing for Egypt and Other Unexpected Biblical Tales

£50.00
Readers of all persuasions have a tendency to privilege simple interpretations over complex, unsettling, readings. The more fraught the issue, the more often we find in the history of interpretation that a simple reading has been generated that masks its complexity. 'Longing for Egypt and Other Unexpected Biblical Tales' explores seven cases of textual complexity masked by simple readings. One chapter uncovers a counter-intuitive longing for Egypt alongside the Exodus account of liberation from persecution. Another shows how what appears to be a critical attitude in the Bible towards other gods may reflect inner-Israelite tensions rather than some principled antipathy toward others. Yet another confronts the praise of God as a perfect king with the use of the language of divine kingship as a vehicle for constructive criticism. All seven chapters share a focus on the formation of identity. Arguably the Bible's most sensitive subject, for its authors and for present-day readers, this topic has generated a host of simple readings that conceal immense complexity.
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