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Response to How Are the Mighty Fallen?

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image of Horizons in Biblical Theology

Barbara Green's monograph, How Are the Mighty Fallen?, shows her to be a strong reader of 1 Samuel, whose interpretive efforts function as both a co-author of 1 Samuel and co-creator of Saul and his cast of characters. Her dialogic style of reading, taken from Bakhtin, allows readers to engage her interpretation without having to agree to all her conclusions. Her facility with Bakhtinian analysis, however, means at times that Bakhtin intrudes on the conversation she engenders with her readers. Her distinction between the "real" God (who "wishes us well") and the God of the text requires further reflection, even if there is no final answerability from the human side. Green envisions a practice of reading, study, and engagement that is profoundly dialogical, inviting scholarly analysis beyond its conventional objectivism, but vigorously resisting a careless subjectivism that now so much jeopardizes our common work.

Affiliations: 1: Columbia Theological Seminary, P.O. Box 520, 701 Columbia Drive, Decatur, GA 30031, USA


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