Wilderness in the Bible: Toward a Theology of Wilderness, by Robert Barry Leal. Studies in Biblical Literature 72. New York: Peter Lang Publishing, 2004. 357 pp. $76.95. Leal wishes to address the growing ecological crisis in the West through a study of the wilderness theme in the Hebrew Bible and its reflex in New Testament literature. The aim of the study is to construct an "ecotheology," which addresses the Australian context. Nine chapters are organized into three sections: "The Context of a Biblical Study of the Wilderness," "Biblical Attitudes Towards Wilderness," and "Towards a Theology of Wilderness." "The Context of a Biblical Study of the Wilderness" includes a review of the current research and debate surrounding the relationship of the JudeoChristian tradition and the natural world. Chapter 1 is a helpful overview of recent literature that criticizes the anthropocentric focus of the Judeo-Christian tradition (e.g. Lynn White) as well as the emerging voices that are seeking to reclaim a natural theology within the biblical tradition (e.g., Sallie McFague, Max Oeschlaeger, P. Santmire, J. Nash, N. Habel, D. Tracey). Chapters 23 explore the biblical language of the wilderness, focusing in particular on the Hebrew word, midbar, translated as "desert,
Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies – Purdue University Press
Published: Jul 12, 2006
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