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Beauty and the Bible: Toward a Hermeneutics of Biblical Aesthetics
Richard J. Bautch, Jean-François Racine, editors
SemeiaSt 73
Publication Date
November 2013


These seven essays offer fresh perspectives on beauty’s role in revelation. Each essay features a hermeneutical approach informed by the contemporary study of aesthetics. Covering a series of texts in the Hebrew Bible and New Testament, from Adam and Eve in the garden to Jesus on trial in the Fourth Gospel, the authors engage beauty from three overarching perspectives: modern philosophy, contextual criticism, and the postcritical return to beauty’s primary qualities. The three perspectives are not harmonized but rather explored concurrently to create a volume with intriguing methodological tensions. As this collection highlights beauty in the narratives of scripture, it opens readers to a largely unexplored dimension of the Bible. The contributors are Richard J. Bautch, Jo-Ann A. Brant, Mark Brummitt, David Penchansky, Antonio Portalatín, Jean-François Racine, and Peter Spitaler.

Richard J. Bautch is Professor of Humanities at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas. He is the author of Developments in Genre between Post-exilic Penitential Prayers and the Psalms of Communal Lament (Society of Biblical Literature) and Glory and Power, Ritual and Relationship: The Sinai Covenant in the Postexilic Period (T&T Clark).

Jean-François Racine is Associate Professor of New Testament at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University in Berkeley, California. He is the author of The Text of Matthew in the Writings of Basil of Caesarea (Society of Biblical Literature) and the co-author of En marge du canon: Études sur les écrits apocryphes juifs et chrétiens (Cerf).

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