Description : This book explains and illustrates a variety of semiotic issues in the study of biblical law. Commencing with a review of relevant literature in linguistics, philosophy, semiotics and psychology, it examines biblical law in terms of its users, its medium and its message. It criticizes our use of the notion of 'literal meaning', at the level of both words and sentences, preferring to see meaning constructed by the narrative images that the language evokes. These images may come from either social experience or cultural narratives. Speech performance is important, both in the negotiation of the law and the narratives of its communication. Non-linguistic semiotic phenomena, utilizing other senses and involving such notions as space and time, also need to be taken into account. For the early biblical period, at least, conceptions of law based upon modern models need to be replaced by the notion of 'wisdom-laws'. Amongst the issues addressed in the course of the argument are the structure of the Decalogue, the role in the law of (Greenberg's) 'postulates', 'covenant renewal' and 'talionic punishment'.
Description : Major innovations have occurred in the study of biblical law in recent decades. The legal material of the Pentateuch has received new interest with detailed studies of specific biblical passages. The comparison of biblical practice to ancient Near Eastern customs has received a new impetus with the concentration on texts from actual ancient legal transactions. The Oxford Handbook of Biblical Law provides a state of the art analysis of the major questions, principles, and texts pertinent to biblical law. The thirty-three chapters, written by an international team of experts, deal with the concepts, significant texts, institutions, and procedures of biblical law; the intersection of law with religion, socio-economic circumstances, and politics; and the reinterpretation of biblical law in the emerging Jewish and Christian communities. The volume is intended to introduce non-specialists to the field as well as to stimulate new thinking among scholars working in biblical law.
Description : Offering a host of classic and new essays surveying the scholarly ethical and biblical debate surrounding the Ten Commandments, William Brown organizes his volume into three parts: the history of interpretation, contemporary reflections on the Decalogue as a whole, and contemporary reflections on individual commandments. A useful addition to ethics as well as Old Testament and Hebrew Bible courses, Brown'sThe Ten Commandmentswill be a standard reference for all Decalogue research, as it facilitates a helpful balance between moral, theological, and biblical study. The Library of Theological Ethics series focuses on what it means to think theologically and ethically. It presents a selection of important and otherwise unavailable texts in easily accessible form. Volumes in this series will enable sustained dialogue with predecessors though reflection on classic works in the field.
Description : Cheryl Anderson examines the laws relating to women that are found in the Book of the Covenant and the Deuteronomic law. She argues that the laws can be divided into those that treat women similarly to men (defined as 'inclusive' laws) and those that treat women differently ('exclusive' laws). She then suggests that the exclusive laws, which construct gender as male dominance/female subordination, do not just describe violence against women but are inherently violent toward women. As a non-historical critique of ideology, critical theory is used to offer analytical insights that have significant implications for understanding gender constructions in both ancient and contemporary settings.
Description : In April of 2001, the headline in the Los Angeles Times read, “Doubting the Story of the Exodus.” It covered a sermon that had been delivered by the rabbi of a prominent local congregation over the holiday of Passover. In it, he said, “The truth is that virtually every modern archeologist who has investigated the story of the exodus, with very few exceptions, agrees that the way the Bible describes the exodus is not the way it happened, if it happened at all.” This seeming challenge to the biblical story captivated the local public. Yet as the rabbi himself acknowledged, his sermon contained nothing new. The theories that he described had been common knowledge among biblical scholars for over thirty years, though few people outside of the profession know their relevance. New understandings concerning the Bible have not filtered down beyond specialists in university settings. There is a need to communicate this research to a wider public of students and educated readers outside of the academy. This volume seeks to meet this need, with accessible and engaging chapters describing how archeology, theology, ancient studies, literary studies, feminist studies, and other disciplines now understand the Bible.
Description : of those problems in law which we inherit and/or retrieve in order to reconstruct and interpret in the light of legal semiotics, however defined. In addition to three main areas of underlying metaphysical assumptions there are also three main areas of possible editorial focus and these should be mentioned. The three areas of focus are: 1) the state-of-the-art of legal semiotics; 2) the dynamic, intense and exceptionally interactive quality of conference participation, and 3) the content of the papers presented which is the material of this volume. My choice of this triad of focal possibilities is to exclude the last since the papers speak for themselves and need but a brief reportorial caption. I also eliminate the second possible focus as the main focus since the discussion was not taped for editing into this volume and must remain for all those who participated a quality of scholarly meetings to be remembered, savored and hoped for. My main focus is on the "state-of-the-art" of legal semiotics. II At the conclusion of the First Round Table on Law and Semiotics (1987) it was noted that there were no working paradigms, in Kuhn's sense, that thus far emerged but rather that several problematic areas were disclosed which warrant attention. Therefore the first concern of Legal Semiotics should be to address the surface, i. e.
Description : PATRICKNERHOT Since the two operations overlap each other so much, speaking about fact and interpretation in legal science separately would undoubtedly be highly artificial. To speak about fact in law already brings in the operation we call interpretation. EquaHy, to speak about interpretation is to deal with the method of identifying reality and therefore, in large part, to enter the area of the question of fact. By way of example, Bemard Jackson's text, which we have placed in section 11 of the first part of this volume, could no doubt just as weH have found a horne in section I. This work is aimed at analyzing this interpretation of the operation of identifying fact on the one hand and identifying the meaning of a text on the other. All philosophies of law recognize themselves in the analysis they propose for this interpretation, and we too shall seek in this volume to fumish a few elements of use for this analysis. We wish however to make it clear that our endeavour is addressed not only to legal philosophers: the nature of the interpretive act in legal science is a matter of interest to the legal practitioner too. He will find in these pages, we believe, elements that will serve hirn in rcflcction on his daily work.
Description : What makes one crime more serious than another, and why? This book investigates the problem of "seriousness of offence" in English law from the comparative perspective of biblical law. Burnside takes a semiotic approach to show how biblical conceptions of seriousness are synthesised and communicated through various descriptive and performative registers. Seven case studies show that biblical law discriminates between the seriousness of different offences and between the relative seriousness of the same offence when committed by different people or when performed in different ways. Recurring elements include location and the offender's social statue. The closing chapter considers some of the implications for the current debate about crime and punishment.
Description : Biblical theology attempts to explore the theological coherence of the canonical witnesses; no serious Christian theology can overlook this issue. The essays in the present volume illustrate the complexity and richness of the conversation that results from attentive consideration of the question. In a time when some voices are calling for a moratorium on biblical theology or pronouncing its concerns obsolete, this collection of meaty essays demonstrates the continuing vitality and necessity of the enterprise. Richard B. Hays, George Washington Ivey Professor of New Testament, The Divinity School, Duke University, USA This volume on biblical theology jumps into the fray and poses the right kind of questions. It does not offer a single way forward. Several of the essays are quite fresh and provocative, breaking new ground (Bray, Reno); others set out the issues with clarity and grace (Bartholomew); others offer programmatic analysis (Webster; Bauckham); others offer a fresh angle of view (Chapman, Martin). The success of this series is in facing the challenge of disarray in biblical studies head-on and then modeling a variety of approaches to stimulate our reflection. Christopher Seitz, Professor of Old Testament and Theological Studies, St. Andrews University, UK