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Rethinking Historical Criticism

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image of Biblical Interpretation

The present paper seeks to provide a programmatic introduction to some of the major themes of historicist literary study and to explore how this body of work may help biblical scholars rethink historical criticism as a specifically literary method of study and reading. It advocates a program of literary study in which biblical historical criticism, with its strong insistence on the need to historicize and with the various philological practices which it uses to accomplish this feat of historicization, continues to play a central and essential role, but recognizes, as well, the pressing need to rethink and to retheorize the objectivist and foundationalist assumptions which have informed and motivated historical-critical practices in the past, and to facilitate the integration of the full panoply of literary methods, theories, and strategies of reading currently employed by literary scholars.

Affiliations: 1: Yale University


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