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Theologies in the Old Testament

Author: 
John Bowden (Translator) Erhard S. Gerstenberger (Author)
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Description

Internationally renowned scholar Erhard Gerstenberger here offers a radical departure from traditional treatments. Rather than a systematic approach to theological topics in the Old Testament, Gerstenberger discusses its various theological voices rooted in different social settings within ancient Israel: the family and clan, the village, the tribal group, and the kingdom. Further, he discusses the variety of Israel's views concerning the divine—polytheism, syncretism, and monotheism. Gerstenberger concludes with his reflections on how contemporary theology is informed by the biblical witness and how it must be contextual and ecumenical in order to be authentic.
ISBN: 
9780800634650
Price: 
$32.00
Release date: 
July 29, 2002
Pages: 
368
Width: 
6.25
Height: 
9.50

Endorsements

"As much as anyone in biblical studies, Erhard Gerstenberger has taught us the cruciality of the local, social contexts for reading texts. Early on, he engaged in social analysis of the texts of the Old Testament. And now, in his most mature work, he reflects on the specific contexts out of which come the variant voices of faith in Israel. Beyond that, Gerstenberger makes suggestive connections to contemporary contexts in his study of the personal and impersonal, absoluteness and relativity, and the reality of globalization. This book evidences a masterful reading of the Old Testament in contemporary context. The rich documentation, moreover, is worth the price of admission."
— Walter Brueggemann, author of Theology of the Old Testament

Table of Contents

    Preface

  1. PRELIMINARY REMARKS

  2. INTRODUCTION
    2.1 From what context do we consider the Old Testament?
    2.2 What is the status of the Old Testament writings?
    2.3 What are our aims in interpreting the ancient traditions?

  3. A SKETCH OF THE SOCIAL HISTORY OF ISRAEL
    3.1 Family and Clan
    3.2 Village and small town
    3.3 Tribal alliances
    3.4 The monarchical state
    3.5 Confessional and parochial communities

  4. THE DEITY IN THE CIRCLE OF FAMILY AND CLAN
    4.1 The horizon of faith
    4.2 Cultic actions
    4.3 Ideas for God
    4.4 The ethic of family and clan
    4.5 Theology from the family — theology of the individual

  5. DEITIES OF THE VILLAGE (SMALL-TOWN) COMMUNITY
    5.1 The social history of Palestine
    5.2 Village structures
    5.3 Rituals and cults
    5.4 Ethics and the administration of justice
    5.5 The theology of the settled community

  6. GOD AND GODDESS INTHE TRIBAL ALLIANCE
    6.1 The biblical picture of the tribal system
    6.2 The origin of Israel
    6.3 The structure of the tribes
    6.4 Cultic actions
    6.5 Ideas of God
    6.6 Faith and ethics
    6.7 Ideologies of war? Liberation theology?
    6.8 How were larger societies organized?

  7. KINGDOM THEOLOGIES IN ISRAEL
    7.1 The sources
    7.2 Internal organization
    7.3 Foreign policy
    7.4 Theology of king and state
    7.5 The opposition from peripheral groups (prophecy)
    7.6 Were there special features in the northern kingdom of Israel?
    7.7 The theology of the southern kingdom after David (Jerusalem theology)
    7.8 Popular belief
    7.9 National religious?

  8. THE FAITH COMMUNITY OF 'ISRAEL' AFTER THE DEPORTATIONS
    8.1 The political and social situation: internal structures
    8.2 The origin of the holy scriptures
    8.3 Yahweh, the only God
    8.4 The cult: temple and synagogue
    8.5 Popular belief
    8.6 The ethic of the Yahweh community
    8.7 What remains?

  9. POLYTHEISM, SYNCRETISM AND THE ONE GOD
    9.1 Conceptual clarifications
    9.2 Changes: the accumulation and interdependence of images of God
    9.3 Tensions between the theologies of ancient Israel

  10. EFFECTS AND CONTROVERSIES
    10.1 Christian perspectives?
    10.2 The ecumenicity of our theology
    10.3 The autonomous human being
    10.4 The unjust, unredeemed world
    10.5 God: personal or impersonal?
    10.6 The liberating God
    10.7 An ethic of responsibility
    10.8 Images of God today
    10.9 Parallel theologies (pluralism)?
    10.10 Relativity, absoluteness, globalization
    10.11 Monism and dualism
    10.12 Anthropology
    10.13 History and eschaton
    10.14 Our God today
    10.15 God for all

    APPENDIX: GOD IN OUR TIME

    Abbreviations
    Bibliography
    Index of Biblical References
    Index of Modern Authors