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The Bible in Theory: Critical and Postcritical Essays
Stephen D. Moore
RBS 57
Publication Date
October 2010


The sixteen essays assembled in this volume, four of them co-authored, chart the successive phases of a professional life lived in the interstices of Bible and “theory.” Engaging such texts as the Song of Songs, 4 Maccabees, Mark, Luke-Acts, John, and Romans, and such themes as the quest for the historical Jesus, the essays simultaneously traverse postmodernism, deconstruction, New Historicism, autobiographical criticism, cultural studies, postcolonial studies, masculinity studies, queer theory, and “posttheory.” Individual essay introductions and periodic annotated bibliographies make the volume an advanced introduction to biblical literary criticism.

Stephen D. Moore is Professor of New Testament at the Theological School, Drew University. His many books include Literary Criticism and the Gospels: The Theoretical Challenge (Yale University Press), God’s Gym: Divine Male Bodies of the Bible (Routledge), and Empire and Apocalypse: Postcolonialism and the New Testament (Sheffield Phoenix).

The Bible in Theory brings together a compelling and sophisticated collection of essais—trials—that pursue the Bible in a range of theoretical spaces. Functioning really as a history of research, it shows readers not only what is possible, but also what is exciting about theory in biblical studies. With Moore’s and his collaborators’ indomitable expertise—and their unique and entertaining style—readers come to see what happens to the Bible when placed in conversation with recent and important theoretical approaches.”
—Fiona Black, Mount Allison University

“Stephen Moore has produced some of the most brilliant commentary on biblical texts—and biblical scholarship—available anywhere. This collection offers a veritable Dante’s tour of the heavens and hells of Moore’s interpretive imagination. We find here early essays that take over the tools of Derrida, Lacan, and Foucault, and proceed to encounter New Historicism, autobiographical criticism, feminist and queer theory, postcolonial studies, and more. This parade of methods could seem frustrating, or puzzling, or precious, but in Moore’s hands the effect is delightfully dizzying and hugely informative—almost encyclopedic. Moore has constructed his own world of biblical commentary. Enter at your own risk. But do enter.”
—Dale Martin, Yale University

“These essays demonstrate Stephen Moore’s sustained and perceptive interest in texts and theories and his sharp awareness of the fraught relationship between the two. Meticulously researched, engagingly written, and packed with illuminating insights, the volume enriches our understanding of both the biblical books examined, ranging from the Song of Songs to Revelation, and theories such as poststructuralism to postcolonialism.”
—R. S. Sugirtharajah, University of Birmingham