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The Invention of the Biblical Scholar: A Critical Manifesto Paperback – April 1, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

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&34No one is more conversant in literary Theory than Moore and Sherwood, who have for some time been smuggling it into biblical studies in creative ways. As literary critics become less enamored of the promise of Theory, Moore and Sherwood see new possibilities for biblical scholars to move beyond the modernist obsession with 'the Enlightenment Bible' and engage theorists who are 'getting religion.' Their critique is sometimes caustic, always right-on; their manifesto points beyond traditional historical-critical methods, identity politics, and 'contextualization' for its own sake to a new, genuine universality that may shape the future of our discipline." --Richard Horsley, Distinguished Professor of Liberal Arts and the Study of Religion, retired, University of Massachusetts, Boston

"Tongue-in-cheek and down-to-earth, this manifesto pairs clarity with a personal voice. A breath of fresh air, it makes everyone interested in being a "good" biblical scholar sit on edge. Sit tight! It's worth it." --Mieke Bal, Academy Professor, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences

"Tongue-in-cheek and down-to-earth, this manifesto pairs clarity with a personal voice. A breath of fresh air, it makes everyone interested in being a "good" biblical scholar sit on edge. Sit tight! It's worth it." --Mieke Bal, Academy Professor, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences

About the Author

Stephen Moore is Professor of New Graduate Division of Religion at The Theological School, Drew University, and the author of Poststructuralism and the New Testament: Derrida and Foucault at the Foot of the Cross (Fortress Press, 1994); coauthor of The Postmodern Bible (1997); and editor or coeditor of numerous volumes including Mark and Method: New Approaches in Biblical Studies, 2nd ed. (Fortress Press, 2008).

Yvonne Sherwood is Senior Lecturer in Bible and Judaism at the University of Glasgow and the author or editor of Derrida's Bible (2004); The Prostitute and the Prophet: Reading Hosea in the Late Twentieth Century (2004); A Biblical Text and Its Afterlives: The Survival of Jonah in Western Culture (2001); and the coauthor of Derrida and Religion: Other Testaments (2004).

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 120 pages
  • Publisher: Fortress Press (April 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080069774X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800697747
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #779,584 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By ALEX BUSCH on January 12, 2015
Format: Paperback
In a remarkable, brief (yet dense) book, two biblical scholars offer, in its interaction with Critical Theory/Poststructuralism, a genealogy of the professional biblical scholar. The book has three main parts. The focus in the first section is the impact of Theory in literary and biblical circles. While in literary criticism Theory had a long and lasting impact, the impact in biblical studies has been less significant. Theory's influence in literary criticism is comparable to a meteor hitting earth, while in biblical studies Theory is more or less like the glacial ice that never really reached the coast to upset business as usual. Because of its obsession with methods, Theory, standing yet in the margins of the biblical guild, has been absorbed as another method to read the bible. In the second part, entitled `the invention of the biblical scholar', the authors narrate the particularities of the (modern) biblical studies field, from its inception in the late seventeenth century, influenced by the Enlightenment Cultural milieu, to its current state of affairs, a diversity of methods to read and interpret the New Testament. Noteworthy in this process is, with the rise of the historical-critical method, the suppression of the moral/immoral questioning of the biblical text (`the eclipse of the biblical immorality' as the authors put it). In the present time, new methods have been vocal in questioning the single/universal meaning of the text, advocating instead multi-cacophonic perspectives such as feminist, gender, queer, ideological and post-colonial theory and its hybrids sexual and racial identities. However, one downsize of this approach, as the last part states, has been the further marginalizing of the margins; the fragmentation/specialization of readings domesticate its subversive impulses.Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bob Becking on May 31, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an outstanding book that I read with great pleasure. The manifesto diagnosis the trouble in the guild that was caused by the appearence of Theory on the agenda and the way scholars coped with the wave of of all sort of -isms and posts-. Everybody doing research in the field of Biblical Studies, no matter of which theoretical tribe you belong, must read this book and ask her/himself: 'what role do I play in the confusion?'.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Suzanne Miller aka Laughing Scholar on March 4, 2013
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Moore and Sherwood have some very pointed things to say about the current state of biblical studies, how we got to where we are, and how best to find ways of navigating the future. I read this in conjunction with Democratizing Biblical Studies and appreciated the way the two complimented each other. An easy read for students, and a helpful resource for those who are befuddled by the world of biblical studies.
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An engaging critique of the rise and development of the "biblical scholar" in its historical context. Great recent introduction to theory, especially as it relates to the Bible, too. Highly recommended.
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