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JUDGES & METHOD [Paperback]

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Item Number 145808  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   196
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.9" Width: 6" Height: 0.5"
Weight:   0.7 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 31, 1995
Publisher   Augsburg Fortress Publishers
ISBN  0800627458  
EAN  9780800627454  

Availability  0 units.

Alternate Formats List Price Our Price Item Number Availability
Paperback $ 20.00 $ 17.00 145808
Paperback $ 25.53 $ 25.53 36959 In Stock
Item Description...
Judges and Method provides a unique classroom resource in biblical studies. Here are state-of-the-art introductions to leading critical methods in biblical study, all focused on a specific biblical book, Judges, and the larger Deuteronomistic history of which it is a part. The first edition of Judges and Method was published in 1995. This second edition features thorough updates of the original articles along with new essays on Gender Criticism, Cultural Criticism, and Post-colonial Criticism. Includes a glossary and index of ancient sources, topics, and names.

Buy JUDGES & METHOD by A. Yee Gale from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9780800627454 & 0800627458

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Very Helpful Introduction but Lacking Self-Critical Examination of Presuppositions  May 29, 2010
Gale Yee's book is a collection of articles written by different scholars introducing different critical methods of interpreting the Bible. All of the chapters begin with an introduction to the critical method under discussion followed by interaction with a passage or passages from the book of Judges. The different critical methods discussed are ch. 2) Narrative Criticism (Richard Bowman), 3) Social-Scientific Criticism (Naomi Steinberg), 4) Feminist Criticism (Cheryl Exum), 5) Structuralist Criticsm (David Jobling), 6) Deconstructive Criticism (Danna Fewell), 7) Ideological Criticism (Gale Yee), 8) Postcolonial Criticism (Uriah Kim), 9) Gender Criticism (Ken Stone), and 10) Cultural Criticism (David Gunn).

To do justice to this book would require a chapter by chapter review. However, that would quickly become far too long. Consequently, I will try to limit myself to comments that are true of a number of the chapters.

Overall, this book was a very helpful introduction to the critical theories discussed. As one would expect, some chapters were clearer and more helpful than others, but on the whole, they did an excellent job of explaining their particular critical theory, and then demonstrating it in practice. This structure was very helpful as it reinforced both the theory and the practice. Furthermore, I found it helpful that all of the authors focused their attention on the book of Judges. This allowed for more in depth treatments of the passages at hand than would have been afforded if each author chose a different book.

However, a few criticism are justified. First, many of the authors evidence an uncritical assumption of particular ethical values which they use to evaluate the biblical stories and characters within the biblical stories. In other words, instead of evaluating the biblical characters by the ethical system available to them (i.e. the Torah), they evaluate the biblical characters by their own modern ethical values. Granted, in such short chapters (~20 pages each), it would be difficult to offer an apologetic for their ethical system of evaluation. However, with nary a comment about it, they seem undisturbed by the fact that they are importing an alien ethical system into the text.

Second, and related to the above, a number of the authors unapologetically employ the text for their own political agendas with which the text and the author of the biblical text might be in divergence. Cheryl Exum, author of the feminist critique, is explicit about this, but others engage in this as well. This is problematic in so far as it fails to respect the author of the biblical text. We can imagine that Dr. Exum would not appreciate a misogynist or patriarchalist using her text to forward their political agenda. Furthermore, such an approach runs the risk making the biblical text after your own image. In other words, if you read the biblical text as a tool for propagating your own political agenda, you may fail to see where the biblical text confronts your own ethical and political systems.

These two criticism raise issues that are beyond the scope of this book, namely, issues having to do with postmodern and reader-response theories of textual appropriation and meaning. Because engagement in that broader issue was not the intention of this book, the authors can be forgiven for avoiding it. However, that fact does not free them from the criticisms that have been leveled against radical reader-response theories. Consequently I give this book:

4 1/2 stars as an introduction to these theories and for fulfilling its stated goal. However, such a high mark should by no means be taken as indicating agreement with their methods and critical theories. Quite the contrary, I believe that, at least in a number of cases, their critical theories serve to distort the text beyond recognizable form and merely confirm their already held presuppositions. They treat the text as a tool to serve them instead of an act of communication meant to challenge and edify them.
Excellent source for analysis of Judges  Apr 9, 2010
The different perspectives on Judges combined with the various approaches make this book an incredible accedemic source for teaching both biblical study as well as the Book of Judges. Although it does have an acedemic approach to the articles, this would also be a fantastic read for anyone interested in the Bible as both an anthropological/social science artifact as well as a source for words of faith. The highest quality acedemicians present their perspectives in a scientific manner, but also in a manner that is neither offensive or degrading to faith perspectives on the book.

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