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Reading the Prophets as Meaning-making Literature for Communities under Siege

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image of Horizons in Biblical Theology

The "literarization" of prophecy, that is, the shift from oral prophecy to writing, involves massive shifts in meaning and social worlds. The oral performance of the prophetic word departs from a safe homeland for a tapestry of textual constructions in dangerous diaspora. Along the way it traffics in symbolic transformations for communities under siege. More specifically, written prophecy attends to survivors of war and as such functions as a resilient counter script, a meaning-making map of hope, for disoriented and dislocated people. As a sidebar, this essay considers the implications of this reading for contemporary Christian communions aligned with the state. Such an alignment creates a hermeneutical divide that may make the prophetic literature indecipherable.

Affiliations: 1: University of Findlay, 1000 North Main Street, Findlay, OH 45840 US


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