The Bible Without Theology: The Theological Tradition and Alternatives to it

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University of Illinois Press, 2000 - Religion - 198 pages
In this thought-provoking volume, Robert A. Oden Jr. advocates stripping away the theological and historiographic biases that underlie modern biblical scholarship in order to arrive at a nontheological historical reading of the Bible. Oden calls into question a scholarly tradition that accepts biblical writers' views of themselves and their neighbors at face value and reproduces a view of Israelite religion as divinely guided and inherently superior.

Using cross-cultural and interdisciplinary methodology, Oden investigates three biblical issues--the clothing of Adam and Eve, Jacob's name change to Israel, and ritual prostitution and Deuteronomy--in light of extra-biblical evidence. He also challenges scholars' assumptions of Scripture as monotheistic and proposes treating biblical narrative as myth rather than as historical fact.
 

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Contents

Interpreting Biblical Myths
40
Grace or Status? Yahwehs Clothing of the First
92
The Case of Jacob
106
Religious Identity and the Sacred Prostitition
131
Epilogue The Persistence of Theology in Biblical Study
154
Notes
167
Index
195
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