Holy Imagination

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Vendor: Abingdon Press


ISBN: 9781426775314

Number of Pages: 384

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Most literary works have one primary voice, a discourse that
expresses an author’s dominant culture and ideology. The whole Bible,
however, should be read by allowing numerous voices or discourses during
a thousand years of literary imagination to emerge and interact. This
dialogic reading process introduces theological insights that are larger
than the individual parts of the Bible.

Many books about the
Bible introduce students to this sacred literature through a critical
tour of the historical events and cultures that were present when the
authors were at work. Holy Imagination, however, groups sections of the Bible by genre, to include the whole canon.

This
“reader’s introduction” is informed by literary theory and theological
synthesis. For example, the first section will describe the primordial
history in Genesis 1-11 as literary myth. How do we use the term myth
when it is applied to the beginning of Genesis? The next section, the
ancestral narratives in Genesis 12–50 is described as “formational
narratives of identity.” How do the stories use sibling rivalry to shape
national identity then and now?
Each section in the introduction will identify and describe the genre (myth, historiography, poetry, apocalyptic literature, and so on) and then move into a discussion about its literary characteristics. Once the range of materials within a genre is evaluated, the introduction will deploy literary tools useful in reading a particular genre. The application of these tools will be guided by a set of “literary rules.”

Reading is always an act of interpretation.
The Bible is a theological text.
The Bible is a literary text in that it is written and uses literary devices.
Scripture comes to us in a variety of forms/genres and knowing the genre helps the reader in the task of reading.
Scripture comes from multiple sources, representing a variety of perspectives over time.
These different sources form a dialogue from which greater meaning can be achieved..
This dialogue is ongoing and never-ending (always making new meanings).
Scripture is highly metaphorical, and metaphor is a distinct form of dialogue.





Holy Imagination
can serve as the primary text for an introductory course on the whole
Bible. For instructors who prefer an historical-critical structure,
this book could be an appreciated supplementary text that gives new
Bible readers the larger picture of the wider biblical literature.

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