Douglas Lawrie


This paper examines three influential trajectories in the recent study of the Old
Testament and argues that they deserve to and probably will remain influential.
Historical study (broadly taken and including archaeology) continues to broaden
our understanding of the ancient context, it is argued, is important for several
reasons. Literary study, both as “close reading” and as literary theorizing and
hermeneutical reflection, has made us conscious of what was often too easily taken
for granted. Feminist study (taken here as synecdoche for various approaches from
the side of the excluded) has, through its passion and eloquence, humanized the
study of the Bible. The conclusion of the paper reflects on the difficulties of teaching
the Old Testament today and the dangers of pursuing novelties before a thorough
foundation has been laid. It suggests, however, that the Old Testament may continue
to address its readers in totally unexpected ways. (So as to leave the original paper
more or less unchanged, I deal with most references and some of the questions that
arose in the discussion in footnotes.)


Historical criticism, Literary Criticism, Feminist Criticism, Trajectories, Teaching

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7833/100-0-647


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ISSN 2305-445X (online); ISSN 0254-1807 (print)

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