BIBLICAL CRITICISM AND THE RHETORIC OF INQUIRY R. BARRY MATLOCK University of Sheffield If it has been said of critics that they are "the eunuchs of litera- ture, grouped around the bed in envious awe, while a complete man [that is, the author] and his partner demonstrate the art of loving," what on earth would be made of the critic of criticism?l And what, indeed, of the one who would take such metacriticism in the direction of the "rhetoric of inquiry"-rhetoric having been styled the "harlot of the arts"? On these terms, where the critic is an emasculated voyeur and rhetoric a woman of ill re- pute, such a rhetorical critique of criticism would presumably be reduced to the order of, say, a smutty thought or naughty dream of scholarship. However that might be, it is just such that I con- template in this essay, an initial, selective look at biblical criticism from the recently emerging perspective of "rhetoric of inquiry." Indeed, the judgement cited above is reversed in the interpre- tive and rhetorical "turns" across the sciences, shifts in the history of ideas of particular interest to the humanities, not least among them biblical studies.2 Here one
Biblical Interpretation – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1997
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