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Joyful Noise: The New Testament Revisited Paperback – March 1, 1999

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Novelists Moody (Purple America, LJ 2/15/97) and Steinke (Suicide Blonde, Atlantic, 1992) have brought together 21 essays by 21 different contributors including themselves, none of whom are biblical or New Testament scholars. They are all writers, however?novelists, poets, playwrights?which makes this book about faith a most interesting read. With a deep interest in religion, the contributors have selected New Testament passages or themes on which to provide very different kinds of commentaries or as launching points for personal reflections on religion. One chapter, for example, is a poetical reflection on Jesus' feet, another on the teenage Jesus with a consideration of the adolescent spirit vis-a-vis religion. Recommended especially for collections including inspirational reading.?John Moryl, Yeshiva Univ. Lib., New York
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

A bid to shed fresh light on the New Testament, weighed down by a disappointingly predictable party line: Jesus-as-radical-moral-teacher. These baby boomer writers have mostly ``revisited'' only a fraction of the New Testament, the Gospels, which novelist Moody (Purple America, p. 164, etc.) sees as ``great liberal documents in strong support of ethical universals.'' In rescuing the New Testament from the Christian Right, though, these writers don't realize that by almost exclusively using the Gospels, they've ceded some of the richest territory to the fundamentalists. That's why Joanna Scott's marvelous essay on Revelation is nothing short of a revelation (her discussion of symbols as ``masks'' in the text is truly stunning), and why Ann Powers's contribution, ``Teenage Jesus,'' falls flat. In her zeal to make Jesus culturally relevant to bohemian boomers, Powers utterly trivializes his message and mission. Portrayals of Jesus as a rebel with a good cause, or a misunderstood ethical teacher, are beyond prosaic. Several of the writers mention that their views of Jesus were heavily influenced by the rock-opera movie Jesus Christ Superstar, which helps explain this book's unidimensionality. Why not try new turf and explore the irascible Paul? Aside from one obligatory essay on 1 Corinthians 13 (de rigueur at American weddings), Paul is completely ignored. Standout essays include bell hooks's creative offering on the transformative power of love; Benjamin Cheever's offhanded appeal to ``judge not,'' and Jeffrey Eugenides's witty portrayal of the Holy Ghost in Acts: ``Jesus gets all the attention, all the reviews,'' Eugenides wryly observes. The editors of this anthology should have heeded his remark. In its narrow purview, this New Testament revisited is considerably less juicy than the original. -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Back Bay Books (March 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316579955
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316579957
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,263,591 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 23, 1998
Format: Paperback
Being acquainted with the editors, I chose to read the introduction and afterword as book-ends. The effect was electrifying, since these writers clearly are wrestling with their personal beliefs, and struggling to communicate how important this quest can be. Any tolerant and thoughtfull religious thinker will find his/her accepted theology stretched and challenged, though many of the views seem "heretical" to mainstream conventional approaches. Take a chance and see if some of your long-held tenets don't take on a different resonance.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 29, 1999
Format: Paperback
Edited by one of the literary giants of the 20th century, Rick Moody, Joyful Noise is the most profound treatment of the N.T. I have ever come across. Not since Chesterton's Orthodoxy has my system of beliefs been so tested. This book will appeal to, and the shake the ground of agnostics and believers alike.
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