Anthropology and the Bible – Emanuel Pfoh

I’m quite excited!  Emanuel Pfoh’s edited volume Anthropology and the Bible: Critical Perspectives (Piscataway: Gorgias Press, 2010) arrived today!  This is quite the read and I hope to dive right in sometime within the next week or so.  Review is forthcoming.  Judging from the ToC this book already looks ambitious, but with contributors like Emanuel himself, as well as Niels Peter Lemche, David Chalcraft, Anne Katrine Gudme, Philippe Guillaume, Eveline van der Steen, and Philippe Wajdenbaum, there is no doubt that it has exceeded its original potential.  Here is a snippet from Gorgias Press:

The papers in this anthology represent the proceedings of the Anthropology and the Bible session from the European Association of Biblical Studies Annual Meeting held in Lincoln, UK (July 2009). The main aim of the session is to foster critical uses of social anthropology for reading biblical scholarship and ancient Near Eastern studies related to the Bible as well. The papers of this volume reflect all these perspectives and stand as a critical renewal of the uses of anthropology and sociology in biblical scholarship in distinction to social-science approaches.

And the ToC:

  • Table of Contents (page 5)
  • Acknowledgments (page 7)
  • Abbreviations (page 9)
  • List of Contributors (page 11)
  • Introduction (page 13)
    • Introduction: Anthropology and the Bible Revisited (page 15)
      • Presentation (page 15)
      • Anthropology, Sociology and the Bible in the 19th and 20th Centuries (page 16)
      • Contributions (page 21)
  • Method (page 25)
    • Anthropology and Biblical Studies:A Critical Manifesto (page 27)
      • Anthropology as a Main Analytical Perspective for the Historian (page 27)
      • Interpretive Strategies: Emic and Etic in Biblical Interpretation (page 31)
        • 1) Emic Perspectives (page 32)
          • 1.1. Literal Readings (page 32)
          • 1.2. Rationalistic Paraphrases (page 33)
          • 1.3. A Contextual Approach (a): From Within the Text (page 33)
        • 2) Etic Perspectives (page 35)
          • 2.1. A Contextual Approach (page 35)
          • 2.2. An Historical Anthropological Perspective (page 36)
            • 2.2.1. An anthropology of the dynamics of political power (page 37)
            • 2.2.2. An anthropology of Palestines ethnicities (page 38)
            • 2.2.3. A socio-anthropology of Palestines religious imagination and practices (page 39)
            • 2.2.4. An anthropology of Palestines economics (page 40)
            • 2.2.5. An anthropology of the biblical mythic universe (page 41)
      • The Social Background of Texts and of the Interpreters of Texts (page 42)
        • 1) The Original Interpreters (page 42)
        • 2) The Received View (page 43)
        • 3) The Historiographical Context of Biblical Studies (page 43)
    • Is Sociology Also Among the Social Sciences? Some Personal Reflections on Sociological Approaches in Biblical Studies (page 49)
      • 1. Is Sociology Also a Social Science? (page 49)
      • 2. Sociology Unique Amongst the Social Sciences (page 52)
      • 3. Epistemological and Ontological Differences (page 57)
      • 4. The Differences Made By and to the Social Science Used and the Need to Report Back (page 59)
      • 5. The Body of Theory and Creativity (page 60)
      • 6. The Sociological Imagination and Grounded Theory (page 62)
      • 7. The Sociological Vocation (page 67)
      • 8. Two Essential Components of the Sociological Imagination (page 69)
        • 8.1. The Social as Significant Variable (page 69)
        • 8.2. The Nature of Modernity (page 70)
      • 9. Ideal Types, Comparative Historical Research and the Sociology of Texts: a Neo-Weberian Approach (page 73)
      • 10. Finallyƒ Sociology and Reception History of the Bible (page 76)
      • Bibliography (page 77)
    • Modes of Religion: An Alternative to Popular/Official Religion (page 89)
  • Criticism (page 103)
    • Avraham Faust, Israels Ethnogenesis, and Social Anthropology (page 105)
  • Case Studies (page 117)
    • The Hidden Benefits of Patronage: Debt (page 119)
      • Antichresis (page 124)
      • Plentiful Land (page 125)
      • Illusory Usury (page 127)
      • Patronage (page 130)
      • Debt: The Ethnographic View (page 130)
      • Debt: An Essential Ingredient of Patronage (page 132)
      • Inequality and Reciprocity (page 138)
    • David as a Tribal Hero: Reshaping Oral Traditions (page 139)
      • Bibliography (page 147)
    • Jacob and David, the Bibles Literary Twins (page 149)
  • Index of Authors (page 171)
  • Index of References (page 177)



One Response

  1. […] table of contents can be found listed here (earlier blog post); in a nut-shell, the book contains seven contributions plus an introduction and […]

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