Rescuing the Bible
Wiley-Blackwell Manifestos 1. Aufl.
What is the future for the Bible, one of the most important books in the world? In this manifesto, Roland Boer explores the idea that the Bible is an unruly and uncontrollable text that has been colonized by church, synagogue, and state. Powerfully argues that the Bible needs to be rescued from its abuse by the religious and political right Considers the history of revolutionary readings of the Bible, from Gerrard Winstanley to the present Urges a role for the Bible in a new "worldly left": an alliance between the religious and secular left that can promote more progressive readings of the text Concludes by offering a "political myth" from the Bible that condemns oppression, imagines a better society and celebrates the biblical themes of opposition and chaos.
Preface. Introduction. 1. The New Secularism. 2. The Worldly Left: Towards a Politics of Alliance. 3. Bad Conscience: Battles Over the Bible. 4. (Ab)using the Text: Conflicts in Politics and Science. 5. Making All Things New: The Revolutionary Legacy of the Bible. 6. Rescuing the Bible. Conclusion. Notes. References. Index of Subjects. Index of Biblical References
"This is a welcome addition to Blackwell's new Manifestos series." (Journal for the Study of the Old Testament, June 2009) "Rescuing the Bible is deeply thoughtful and provocative, and it deserves to be widely read and discussed by both scholars and layfolk, believers and nonbelievers, on the left and the right.” (Biblical Interpretation, April 2010) "There is an important focus here on how the bible can be read with an appropriate theological suspicion which will seek to discern how it can become life-giving while not ignoring its oppressive potential." (European Journal of Theology, April 2009)
Roland Boer is Reader in the Centre for Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies at Monash University in Australia. He has written seven books on biblical, political and philosophical subjects.
What does the future hold for the Bible? In this provocative and powerfully argued Manifesto, Roland Boer voices his fear that, unless action is taken, the Bible will become the sole preserve of the conservative political and religious groups who have appropriated this sacred text for their own ends. But it hasn’t always been that way. Boer also traces the Bible’s long history as a source of inspiration for radical and revolutionary movements and then issues a rallying call for contemporary radicals and revolutionaries to maintain and uphold that tradition. Only then, he argues, can the Bible be rescued from its most systematic abusers: the church, the synagogue and the state.
"I have dreamed of a project like this, a project of our time that would offer a manifesto to those of us who refuse to allow the Bible to be co-opted and controlled by right-wing and reactionary forces."Gerald West, University of Kwa-Zulu Natal "Roland Boer presents a lively, thoughtful, and compelling call for an alliance of the secular and religious left to take back the Bible from the religious and political right. In a brilliant analysis of both the current political landscape and the development and use of the Bible, he illuminates the liberative effects and potential at the core of the Bible."Richard Horsley, University of Massachusetts
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