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Biblical Criticism and the Challenge of Postmodernism

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Postmodernism involves recognizing that the objective certitude sought by modern scientific and humanistic methods is not possible. Deconstruction paved the way for postmodernism in literary studies, but it is most evident in the work of some reader-response critics. Many reader-response critics utilize the indeterminacy of postmodern insight but are hesitant to accept its subjectivist implications. Biblical scholars tend to prefer methods that yield verifiable results, but some have successfully used postmodern approaches. Christian scholars, though committed to an idea of transcendence to which postmodernism seems to deny access, can still profitably use postmodern approaches but must be prepared to deal with such questions as inspiration and the relation of scholarship to the Church.

Affiliations: 1: Providence College, R.I.


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