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Cultural Interpretation: Reorienting New Testament Criticism [Paperback]

By Brian K. Blount (Author)
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Item description for Cultural Interpretation: Reorienting New Testament Criticism by Brian K. Blount...

Blount's analysis demonstrates the social intent of every reading and shows the influence of communicative context in such diverse readings of the Bible as Rudolf Bultmann's, the peasants of Solentiname, the Negro spirituals, and black-church sermons. Blount then shows how his proposal helps in assessing the several readings of Mark's trial scenes and the figure of Jesus there.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Wipf & Stock Publishers
Pages   236
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.5" Width: 5.66" Height: 0.49"
Weight:   0.64 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jul 31, 2004
Publisher   Wipf & Stock Publishers
ISBN  1592447619  
ISBN13  9781592447619  

Availability  0 units.

More About Brian K. Blount

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Brian K. Blount is President and Professor of New Testament at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, Virginia. He is the author of many books, including "Revelation: A Commentary", "Can I Get a Witness? Reading Revelation through African-American Culture", and "Preaching Mark in Two Voices".

Brian K. Blount was born in 1955.

Brian K. Blount has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Bible & Liberation
  2. New Testament Library
  3. Reorienting New Testament Criticism

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Criticism & Interpretation > Criticism & Interpretation

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Reviews - What do customers think about Cultural Interpretation: Reorienting New Testament Criticism?

Read the Bible through the eyes of the oppressed  Nov 22, 2003
For those who are interested in understanding how to read and use the Bible in ways that are neither limited by literalism nor disempowered by a cold higher criticism, this is a very helpful book.

Early on, this book includes a discussion of communication theories that is probably more complex and academic than most readers will find helpful. But, when he moves past this, Blount illustrates how the Bible is well deployed in popular settings like traditional "Negro spirituals," Ernesto Cardenal's work with the Nicaraguan peasants of Solentiname, and Tom Skinner's urban American revolutionary preaching.

Blount is certainly supportive of academic higher critical study of the Bible but he is also convinced that this is not the only way to use the Bible.

Blount argues that Scripture has many interpretations. Since, according to his theory of communications, the context of the interpreter is a legitimate aspect of the process of interpretation, our perception of what the text meant and means will change depending on our context as interpreters. "The text is multivalent," he writes. "It has no single meaning."

This, however, (and this is an absolutely critical point) does not mean that the interpreter is free to apply any meaning whatsoever to the text. The fact that there is "no single meaning" doesn't mean that just any subjective meaning we might want to apply to a text is acceptable. The text is multivalent but within a limited range of possible meanings.

Blount demonstrates that academic biblical scholarship, in spite of claims of scientific objectivity, is always biased by the scholar's culture, assumptions, historical time and methods. (Blount does not use the word "bias," but instead prefers more value-neutral terms like "the micro-interpersonal," a linguistic term, or "pre-understanding," a Bultmannian term.) Blount does not see bias or subjectivity as necessarily a negative thing. Instead bias is seen as an unavoidable condition of all interpretation because of the sociolinguistic nature of language.

The bias of the oppressed, Blount suggests, may even open windows to understand the meaning of Scripture in a way we might otherwise miss.

It is refreshing and rewarding to see a biblical scholar as sophisticated as Blount working so to help the academic world listen to the world's oppressed and marginalized peoples. Finally, they may be the ones who really understand what the Bible is all about.


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