Thursday 22 March 2012

Interpretation 66, 2 (2012) on the Book of Joshua

The main essays in the latest issue of Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology, are devoted to the book of Joshua. Now published by SAGE, the issue is (for a limited period of time) freely available online here.

The main essays and their abstracts are as follows:

L. Daniel Hawk

The Truth about Conquest: Joshua as History, Narrative, and Scripture

The Book of Joshua constitutes a vital biblical resource for interpreting modern narratives of conquest and colonialism. As a historical narrative, it reveals the fluid and complex character of national memory; as a national narrative of origins, it points to processes and motifs that shaped the identities of both Israel and the United States; as a scriptural narrative, it presents a revelatory vision that illumines contemporary narratives of conquest and evokes the stories of both colonizing and colonized peoples.

Carolyn J. Sharp

“Are You For Us, or For Our Adversaries?”: A Feminist and Postcolonial Interrogation of Joshua 2–12 for the Contemporary Church

This essay seeks to engage the narrative art of the book of Joshua in ways that may prove valuable for contemporary communities of faith. The argument draws on the feminist and postcolonial critical tradition for defining insights about the construction of the subject, the interrogation of power dynamics, and the reformation of community. The essay then explores Joshua’s representations of authority and its use of liminal moments in Israel’s narrative of conquest in order to suggest possible avenues of appropriation by contemporary readers.

Jerome F. D. Creach

Joshua 13–21 and the Politics of Land Division

Joshua 13–21 makes the remarkable claim that the Lord conquered, possessed, and gave the land as a gift to Israel. Although these chapters likely originated in political concerns of Israelite kings, the theological cast of the material outstrips any political motivations that gave rise to the material. The enduring role of this section of Joshua is to shape a society devoted to and dependent on God.

Walter Brueggemann

The God of Joshua… Give or Take the Land

YHWH, the God of Israel, is not only a character embedded in the plot of the Book of Joshua. YHWH is the chief protagonist and the engine that drives the plot. Even when there are other actors in the plot, notably Joshua, their performances in the plot are at the behest of and in response to the intention of YHWH.

Stephen Farris

Preaching Joshua

Preaching from the Book of Joshua can often be “trouble” because of the book’s content. To avoid trouble in a sermon is to rob the text of its potential healing power. In our contemporary world, preaching from this difficult book may prove necessary. This essay explores several homiletical approaches.