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Emotions in Biblical Law: A Cognitive Science Approach

Published: Oct 2011
£50.00
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

£50.00
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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Images of Zion: Biblical Antecedents for the New Jerusalem

Published: Apr 2010
£60.00
This study, unparalleled in recent scholarly writing, sets out to examine the broad sweep of the biblical theological tradition about Jerusalem/Zion as the antecedent to Revelation's depiction of the New Jerusalem. In the Old Testament, Jerusalem/Zion is depicted in both its ideal form and its actual manifestation. In the Psalms (and seminally in the Pentateuch), Zion is depicted as similar to the holy mountains of the gods in Ugaritic religion. But it is not only a dwelling-place of the deity: it is also an earthly city inhabited by humans, and so it becomes a place of community of the divine and the human. The historical books of course make no secret of the realities of life in the far from holy Jerusalem, and, in the prophets also, the city of Jerusalem is the site of wrongdoing and corruption, a place attracting judgment; but equally it is the focus for eschatological anticipations of a renewed community that does fulfil the ideal. In the New Testament, by its rejection of the Messiah earthly Jerusalem forfeits its role as the true Jerusalem/Zion, which is taken over by Jesus and the church. Occasionally we get glimpses of the belief that the true Jerusalem is in heaven (a development begun in Second Temple literature). The book of Revelation picks up as well from Second Temple literature the theme of the identity of Jerusalem with the Garden of Eden, combining this idea with renewal-of-Zion passages from the prophets to depict the final state of God's people as a place of blessedness, community, life and safety, as well of intimacy with God.
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Images of Zion: Biblical Antecedents for the New Jerusalem

£60.00
This study, unparalleled in recent scholarly writing, sets out to examine the broad sweep of the biblical theological tradition about Jerusalem/Zion as the antecedent to Revelation's depiction of the New Jerusalem. In the Old Testament, Jerusalem/Zion is depicted in both its ideal form and its actual manifestation. In the Psalms (and seminally in the Pentateuch), Zion is depicted as similar to the holy mountains of the gods in Ugaritic religion. But it is not only a dwelling-place of the deity: it is also an earthly city inhabited by humans, and so it becomes a place of community of the divine and the human. The historical books of course make no secret of the realities of life in the far from holy Jerusalem, and, in the prophets also, the city of Jerusalem is the site of wrongdoing and corruption, a place attracting judgment; but equally it is the focus for eschatological anticipations of a renewed community that does fulfil the ideal. In the New Testament, by its rejection of the Messiah earthly Jerusalem forfeits its role as the true Jerusalem/Zion, which is taken over by Jesus and the church. Occasionally we get glimpses of the belief that the true Jerusalem is in heaven (a development begun in Second Temple literature). The book of Revelation picks up as well from Second Temple literature the theme of the identity of Jerusalem with the Garden of Eden, combining this idea with renewal-of-Zion passages from the prophets to depict the final state of God's people as a place of blessedness, community, life and safety, as well of intimacy with God.
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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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Theory and Method in Biblical and Cuneiform Law: Revision, Interpolation, and Development

Published: May 2006
£15.00
This seminal work, first published by Sheffield Academic Press in the JSOT Supplement Series, remains in demand among scholars of biblical and cuneiform law, as well as among all those interested in the Pentateuchal traditions. The essays in the collection focus on two crucial topics that have been too much neglected in recent debate on the formation of the Pentateuch: (1) biblical law, and the development of Israelite legal institutions, and (2) the significance of ancient Near Eastern law as a model for the composition and editorial history of the Pentateuch. To correct the imbalance, the contributors to this volume investigate whether the biblical and cuneiform legal corpora underwent a process of literary revision and interpolation. If so, what is the evidence for it, and how did such revision take place? If not, how are the textual phenomena to be explained? The contributors are: Raymond Westbrook, Bernard M. Levinson, Samuel Greengus, Martin Buss, Sophie Lafont, Victor H. Matthews, William Morrow, Dale Patrick and Eckart Otto.
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Theory and Method in Biblical and Cuneiform Law: Revision, Interpolation, and Development

£15.00
This seminal work, first published by Sheffield Academic Press in the JSOT Supplement Series, remains in demand among scholars of biblical and cuneiform law, as well as among all those interested in the Pentateuchal traditions. The essays in the collection focus on two crucial topics that have been too much neglected in recent debate on the formation of the Pentateuch: (1) biblical law, and the development of Israelite legal institutions, and (2) the significance of ancient Near Eastern law as a model for the composition and editorial history of the Pentateuch. To correct the imbalance, the contributors to this volume investigate whether the biblical and cuneiform legal corpora underwent a process of literary revision and interpolation. If so, what is the evidence for it, and how did such revision take place? If not, how are the textual phenomena to be explained? The contributors are: Raymond Westbrook, Bernard M. Levinson, Samuel Greengus, Martin Buss, Sophie Lafont, Victor H. Matthews, William Morrow, Dale Patrick and Eckart Otto.
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