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Discoursing Old Testament Theology

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Stephen Fowl has argued that biblical (so Old Testament) theology is too beholden to academic biblical studies, and too far removed from settings in particular communities of faith, to nurture theological interpretation of scripture. Philip Davies has argued that Old Testament theology is inevitably (Christian) confessional and has no place in academic biblical studies, which should practice a self-consciously non-confessional and only "etic" discourse. Traversing Davies's argument and his use of "discourse," this essay makes brief and unassuming reference to Pierre Bourdieu and Michel de Certeau in moving toward Charles Taylor's definition of "self-defining" social theories. It argues that such practices and convictions of certain communities provide the context and purpose of Old Testament theology.

Affiliations: 1: Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminaries


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