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New Reviews in The Review of Biblical Literature – June 5, 2008

Posted by NT Wrong on June 5, 2008

There’s some interesting reviews in the latest Review of Biblical Literature:

Carleen R. Mandolfo, Daughter Zion Talks Back to the Prophets: A Dialogic Theology of the Book of Lamentations (2007)

Uses Buber, Bakhtin, feminist, postcolonial theories to address Lamentations. Who says Theory is dead? The blurb says that the book “offers a new theological reading of the book of Lamentations by putting the female voice of chapters 1–2 into dialogue with the divine voice of prophetic texts in which God represents the people Israel as his wife and indicts them/her for being unfaithful to him. In Lamentations 1–2 we hear the “wife” talk back, and from her words we get an entirely different picture of the conflict showcased through this marriage metaphor.”

Rivka Ulmer and Lieve M. Teugels, editors,
Midrash and Context: Proceedings of the 2004 and 2005 SBL Consultation on Midrash

You get seven papers for your bucks here, by Jason Kalmon, Matthew Kraus, Joshua L. Moss, Annette Yoshika Reed, Elke Tönges, W. David Nelson, Rivka Ulmer. A number of the papers draw comparisons between Rabbinic and Patristic exegesis. There’s one on orality and one on magic.

Klaus-Peter Adam, Saul und David in der judäischen Geschichtsschreibung: Studien zu 1 Samuel 16-2 Samuel 5 (2007)

The author thinks that the traditions in Samuel were not written before the seventh century, and continued to be written and developed until the Hellenistic era. The reviewer, Walter Dietrich, is dismayed at such a verdict. Dietrich thinks it must be some of that postmodernist gobbledegook. According to Dietrich, Adam must have missed “the obvious possibility that the figure of Saul is anchored in the genuine northern Israelite tradition”. Adam shows how events in Samuel were written so as to anticipate the traditions in the book of Kings. It’s all a bit speculative for Dietrich’s taste. Adam’s literary analysis is rather lost on a reviewer who probably would have preferred to see endless divisions of individual verses into speculative stages of redaction and even more speculative historical reconstructions based on those speculative stages of redaction. Adam’s book looks most worthwhile.

Ellens, J. Harold, editor,
The Destructive Power of Religion: Violence in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

J. Harold Ellens and friends (including Jack Miles and Walter Wink) provide a series of pieces dealing with the violence in the Bible and other Abrahamic religions.

Leo G. Perdue, Wisdom Literature: A Theological History (2007)

Leo Perdue presents an overview of the history of wisdom as a theological category by examining texts from the Hebrew Bible.


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