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Cultural Politics and the Reading of Job

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image of Biblical Interpretation

Throughout the book of Job there is a rivalry between different ways of talking. As important as it is to pay attention to what everybody is talking about, there are also important issues to be uncovered in attending to how these ways of using language differ and what is at stake in setting them over against one another. Since every way of talking implies a moral and social world, the book of Job presents readers with alternative models of character and community. The rival discourses within the book can be compared with contemporary discourses of neo-traditionalism, critical modernism, and post-modernism. Although arguments can be made for a neo-traditionalist and a post-modernist reading of the book as a whole, neither argument decisively triumphs over the other. The book may be likened to a Gestalt drawing that can be seen in two irreconcilable ways.

Affiliations: 1: Emory University School of Theology


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