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Biblical Exegesis and the Formation of Christian Culture (review)

Biblical Exegesis and the Formation of Christian Culture (review) Book Reviews Biblical Exegesis and the Formation of Christian Culture, by Frances Young. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997. 325 pp. $59.95. The study ofearly Christian hermeneutics has exploded in recent years, and one healthy development has been the moving of discussion beyond the ways and means whereby patristic interpreters (Origen most famously) set up multi-leveled "senses" of scripture between "literal" and "figurative" poles. Frances Young, both in her earlier book The Art ofPerformance (1990) and in the present volume, has undertaken to identify more broadly the range of"reading strategies" and the very conditions ofreferentiality under which patristic exegesis proceeded. Young unapologetically admits her dependence on, and interest in, contemporary literary criticism, but makes a worthy case for applying current theories and insights to ancient reading processes. Her conviction, quite justified, is that patristic exegesis was not purely about extracting meaning from received scriptures but about constructing a universe of religious discourse (and a concomitant literary culture) in which Christian understanding and identity could be shaped and sustained. Such an approach profoundly revises the picture of emergent Christian exegesis. For example, second-century Christian apologists, struggling to appropriate the Hebrew scriptures in a highly charged polemical setting alongside Jews, pagans, http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies Purdue University Press

Biblical Exegesis and the Formation of Christian Culture (review)

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Publisher
Purdue University Press
Copyright
Copyright © Purdue University.
ISSN
1534-5165
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Abstract

Book Reviews Biblical Exegesis and the Formation of Christian Culture, by Frances Young. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997. 325 pp. $59.95. The study ofearly Christian hermeneutics has exploded in recent years, and one healthy development has been the moving of discussion beyond the ways and means whereby patristic interpreters (Origen most famously) set up multi-leveled "senses" of scripture between "literal" and "figurative" poles. Frances Young, both in her earlier book The Art ofPerformance (1990) and in the present volume, has undertaken to identify more broadly the range of"reading strategies" and the very conditions ofreferentiality under which patristic exegesis proceeded. Young unapologetically admits her dependence on, and interest in, contemporary literary criticism, but makes a worthy case for applying current theories and insights to ancient reading processes. Her conviction, quite justified, is that patristic exegesis was not purely about extracting meaning from received scriptures but about constructing a universe of religious discourse (and a concomitant literary culture) in which Christian understanding and identity could be shaped and sustained. Such an approach profoundly revises the picture of emergent Christian exegesis. For example, second-century Christian apologists, struggling to appropriate the Hebrew scriptures in a highly charged polemical setting alongside Jews, pagans,

Journal

Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish StudiesPurdue University Press

Published: Oct 3, 2000

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