Saturday 20 February 2021

Currents in Biblical Research 19, 2 (February 2021)

The latest Currents in Biblical Research recently arrived, with titles and abstracts of the main articles as below.

Brad E. Kelle

Moral Injury and Biblical Studies: An Early Sampling of Research and Emerging Trends

Moral injury emerged within clinical psychology and related fields to refer to a non-physical wound (psychological and emotional pain and its effects) that results from the violation (by oneself or others) of a person’s deepest moral beliefs (about oneself, others, or the world). Originally conceived in the context of warfare, the notion has now expanded to include the morally damaging impact of various non-war-related experiences and circumstances. Since its inception, moral injury has been an intersectional and cross-disciplinary term and significant work has appeared in psychology, philosophy, medicine, spiritual/pastoral care, chaplaincy, and theology. Since 2015, biblical scholarship has engaged moral injury along two primary trajectories: 1) creative re-readings of biblical stories and characters informed by insights from moral injury; and 2) explorations of the postwar rituals and symbolic practices found in biblical texts and how they might connect to the felt needs of morally injured persons. These trajectories suggest that the engagement between the Bible and moral injury generates a two-way conversation in which moral injury can serve as a heuristic that brings new meanings out of biblical texts, and the critical study of biblical texts can contribute to the attempts to understand, identify, and heal moral injury.

Gert T.M. Prinsloo

Reading the Masoretic Psalter as a Book: Editorial Trends and Redactional Trajectories

The publication of Gerald H. Wilson’s The Editing of the Hebrew Psalter in 1985 marked a distinct shift in approaches to Psalms research. This article reviews this shift from psalm to Psalter exegesis. North American scholarship tends to follow a synchronic approach and to describe the shape of the Psalter. German scholarship tends to use a diachronic perspective and trace the shaping of the Psalter to explain how it attained its final form. There are growing signs of dialogue and convergence between these two main approaches to the editing of the Hebrew Psalter, which overshadow form-critical and liturgical approaches to the editing of the Psalter. Adherents of the shape and the shaping approach tend to propose a specific theme, organizational principle, or redactional intent to explain the Psalter’s final form. The multi-faceted nature of the Psalter and its long and complex history imply that, in spite of a multitude of publications, the last word on editorial trends and redactional trajectories has not been spoken.

Timothy A. Gabrielson

Parting Ways or Rival Siblings? A Review and Analysis of Metaphors for the Separation of Jews and Christians in Antiquity

Since the early 1990s, ‘the parting of the ways’ has become academic shorthand, especially in anglophone scholarship, for the separation of Jews and Christians in antiquity. Often it is associated with a onetime, global break that occurred by the end of the second century, particularly over one or more theological issues. This model has been challenged as being too tidy. Other images have been offered, most notably that of ‘rival siblings’, but the ‘parting’ model remains supreme. Consensus has shifted in other ways, however. The ‘parting’, or better, ‘partings’, is now understood to be a localized, protracted, and multifaceted process that likely began in the second century and continued into or past the fourth century. It is also suggested here that the current debate covers five distinguishable topics: (1) mutual religious recognition, (2) the continued existence of ‘Jewish Christians’, (3) religious interaction, (4) social concourse, and (5) outsider classification.

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