Download Rescuing the Bible (Blackwell Manifestos) by Roland Boer PDF

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By Roland Boer

What's the destiny for the Bible, some of the most vital books on the earth? during this manifesto, Roland Boer explores the concept that the Bible is an unruly and uncontrollable textual content that has been colonized by means of church, synagogue, and kingdom. Powerfully argues that the Bible has to be rescued from its abuse through the non secular and political correct Considers the historical past of innovative readings of the Bible, from Gerrard Winstanley to the current Urges a job for the Bible in a brand new "worldly left": an alliance among the non secular and secular left that could advertise extra innovative readings of the textual content Concludes by way of supplying a "political fable" from the Bible that condemns oppression, imagines a greater society and celebrates the biblical subject matters of competition and chaos.

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Extra resources for Rescuing the Bible (Blackwell Manifestos)

Sample text

Now, Adorno has in mind philosophy, but the same applies to the study of the Bible. It is not merely the case that biblical scholars cannot keep their lives of faith separate from their secular scholarship; rather, the attempt to separate the two makes the effect of religious commitment on the scholarship even more powerful since it is now hidden. The same applies to politicians: a politician may have a private belief that the Bible is the Word of God and that he or she should follow its teachings.

There was a time in the nineteenth century when evangelicals were the scourge of the establishment, when that establishment was the aristocracy and the established church. William Wilberforce (1759–1833) is perhaps the most noted example. Although he was a social reformer rather than a revolutionary, for Wilberforce evangelical Christianity meant basing his life on the Bible, and that meant taking on injustice wherever he saw it. Texts such as Jesus’s words in Matthew 25:35–6 were crucial for Wilberforce: ‘I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me’.

It is a history which I will trace in Chapter Five. Secondly, I think of a marvellous book by Michael Löwy called War of the Gods (1996). After considering liberation theology in Latin America, one of Löwy’s most telling conclusions is that the old secular left needs to rethink its attitude to the Bible and theology, for sometimes they may well be on the same side. A politics of alliance Löwy’s conclusion leads to the final element of the new secular approach to the Bible. Given that religious and secular readings of the Bible are inseparable at a deep level, given that the Bible has inspired revolutionary movements throughout its long history, and given that the religious and secular left often have the same political aims, it seems logical that they should develop a consistent politics of alliance.

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