Listening to the Bible: The Art of Faithful Biblical Interpretation

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en Limba Engleză Carte Hardback – 12 Dec 2013
The disengagement of recent academic biblical study from church and synagogue has been widely noted. Even within the discipline, there are those who suggest it has lost its way. As the discipline now stands, is it mainly concerned with studying and listening to the texts, or with dissecting them in order to examine hypothetical sources or situations or texts that might lie behind them. Christopher Bryan seeks to address scholars and students who do not wish toavoid the challenges of the Enlightenment, but do wish to relate their work to the faith and mission of the people of God. Is such a combination still possible? And if so, how is the task of biblical interpretation to be understood?Bryan traces the history of modern approaches to the Bible, particularly "historical criticism," noting its successes and failures—and notably among its failures, that it has been no more able to protect its practitioners from (in Jowett's phrase) "bringing to the text what they found there" than were the openly faith-based approaches of earlier generations. Basing his work on a wide knowledge of literature and literary critical theory, and drawing on the insights of the greatest literary critics of the last hundred years, notably Erich Auerbach and George Steiner, Bryan asks, what should be the task of the biblical scholar in the 21st century? Setting the question within this wider context enables Bryan to indicate a series of criteria with which biblical interpreters may do their work, and in the light of which there is no reason why that workcannot relate faithfully to the Church. This does not mean that sound biblical interpretation can ignore the specificity of scientific or historical questions, or dragoon its results into conformity with a set of ecclesial propositions. It does mean that in asking those questions, interpreters ofthe biblical text will not ignore its setting-in-life in the community of faith; and they will concede that although textual interpretation has scientific elements, it is finally an exercise in imagination: an art, and not a science.
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ISBN-13: 9780199336593
ISBN-10: 0199336598
Pagini: 192
Dimensiuni: 148 x 215 x 20 mm
Greutate: 0.32 kg
Editura: Oxford University Press
Colecția OUP USA
Locul publicării: New York, United States


Listening to the Bible: The Art of Faithful Biblical Interpretation provides an engaging and erudite account of the situation in which Biblical Studies finds itself in relation to the faith community, and makes intriguing suggestions as to how that situation could be resolved
He [the author] is not afraid of what empirical analysis may reveal about a text, or the setting in which it may have been written, but asks whether that is the whole story. He uses the insights of literary criticism to show that there is more to a text than the words or the context from which it comes.
It can be rather difficult to take a middling position on a topic and say something fresh. Bryan succeeds. He provides a balanced hermeneutical approach to the Bible as history, literature, and theology. And his reflections on the artistry of the text, thoroughly grounded in theoreticians (from Quintilian to Auerbach to Alter) and literary artists (from Homer to Shakespeare to Sayers), provide a welcome contribution to a long-standing conversation about the Biblesliterary quality.

Notă biografică

Christopher Bryan is C.K. Benedict Professor of New Testament (Emeritus) at University of the South and editor of Sewanee Theological Review.