Overview

The Christian church continues to seek ethical and spiritual models from the period of Israel's monarchy and has avoided the gravity of the Babylonian exile. Against this tradition, the author argues that the period of focus for the canonical construction of biblical thought is precisely the exile. Here the voices of dissent arose and articulated words of truth in the context of failed power.

Author Biography: Daniel L. Smith-Christopher is Professor of Theological Studies and ...

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A Biblical Theology of Exile

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Overview

The Christian church continues to seek ethical and spiritual models from the period of Israel's monarchy and has avoided the gravity of the Babylonian exile. Against this tradition, the author argues that the period of focus for the canonical construction of biblical thought is precisely the exile. Here the voices of dissent arose and articulated words of truth in the context of failed power.

Author Biography: Daniel L. Smith-Christopher is Professor of Theological Studies and Director of Peace Studies at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, California. He is the author of the commentary on Daniel in The New Interpreter's Bible (1997).

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781451405798
  • Publisher: Augsburg Fortress, Publishers
  • Publication date: 7/28/2002
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 524,696
  • File size: 502 KB

Table of Contents

Editor's Foreword
Abbreviations
Preface
1 Biblical Theology: On Matters of Methodology 1
The Emergence of Diasporic Theology 6
Questioning Nationalism in Cultural and Postcolonialist Studies 15
On a Theology of Exile 21
2 Violence and Exegesis: The History of Exile 27
The Shadows of Empire: The Exegesis of Violence as Theological Context 27
The Problem of Assessing the Importance of the Exile in Biblical Studies 30
Persian Authorization of the Pentateuch? 34
Resistance in the Persian Period 35
The Culture of Permission and the Royal Correspondence of Ezra 1-7 38
Summary: Ezra-Nehemiah, Religious Resistance, and Persian Authorization? 45
The Myth of the Empty Land: Doubts about the Exile 45
The Shadow of Empire: A Survey of Recent Literature 49
A Theology of Victims of Exile 54
The Status and Treatment of the Exiled Community 65
3 Listening to Cries from Babylon: On the Exegesis of Suffering in Ezekiel and Lamentations 75
Ezekiel, Lamentations, and Refugee Studies 76
A Survey of Refugee and Disaster Studies in Preparation for Reading Ezekiel and Lamentations 78
Ezekiel on the Couch? 83
Trauma Studies and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Ezekiel the Refugee 89
The Sign-Actions of Ezekiel: Reading Ezekiel with Lamentations 95
The Language of Lament: Does Literary Stereotype Mean Historical Nonexistence? 96
Preliminary Conclusions 103
4 Shame and Transformation: On Prayer and History in the Diaspora 105
A Sociology of Deuteronomistic History? 108
Penitential Prayer in the Postexilic Period 111
A Social Function of Shame? 120
5 Israelite Mission and Human Transformation 125
The Universalism of Late Isaiah Texts 125
Universalism in Jonah 130
6 "Purity" as Nonconformity: Communal Solidarity as Diaspora Ethics 137
The Exile and Theologies of "Community" 138
Who Is "We"? Some Observations on the Biblical Vocabulary of Community 138
Issues of Community Formation after the Exile 144
The Priestly Theology of Policing the Boundaries: Purity and Social Solidarity 145
Purity and Nonconformity: Ezra as an Amish Elder 160
7 The Wisdom Warrior: Reading Wisdom and Daniel as Diasporic Ethics 163
On Tricksters and Wise Men 164
Reading Wisdom in Diaspora and Occupied Palestine 166
Ecclesiastes: Dark Humor in Occupied Palestine? 171
Rereading Proverbs from Below 173
The Wisdom Warrior: Diasporic Cleverness over Imperial Brute Strength 175
The Wisdom Warrior: An Ideal Type in Wisdom Literature 178
Daniel as the Wise Warrior 182
"And Daniel Laughed..." - Diasporic Nonviolence: Laughing at the State 187
8 Toward a Diasporic Christian Theology: The Theology of Tobit and Daniel Revisited 189
The Postcolonialist Mandate of the Church in Exile 195
Social Elements of a Christian Diasporic Theology 198
Index of Biblical Passages 205
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