Christian use of the Old Testament has tended to focus on law and wisdom literature and to marginalize narrative materials. This book restores story to its rightful place in Old Testament ethics and aims to set out parameters within which Christian ethical reappropriations of Old Testament narratives can take place.
The argument begins by examining recent philosophical studies of the role of story in the ethical life. Special attention is paid to the work of Paul Ricoer, Martha Nussbaum and Robert C. Roberts. Then the theological foundations are laid by demonstrating the importance of narrative for Old Testament ethics and of the biblical metanarrative for Christian interpretation. Genesis 34 is examined as a detailed case study to exemplify the fruits of the method for Christian readers. The study considers reception history, feminist interpretation, discourse analysis and canonical context to shed new light on the terrible story of the rape of Dinah.
Endorsements & Reviews-
"The range and depth of this book is a tour de force. It is precisely the sort of scholarship so badly needed in biblical studies today." - Craig Bartholomew, H. Evan Runner Professor of Philosophy and Professor of Theology and Religion, Redeemer University College, Ancaster, Canada.
"This work rehabilitates the importance of stories within biblical and Christian ethics. Anyone concerned with ethics and the Bible will benefit greatly from Parry's sophisticated and subtle presentation."
- John Barton, Oriel and Laing Professor of the Interpretation of Holy Scripture, University of Oxford.
"A most stimulating exploration of how 'difficult' Old Testament narratives might be read from a Christian ethical standpoint." - Gordon McConville, Professor Old Testament Theology and Interpretation, University of Gloucestershire in Cheltenham
"Parry tackles this story of rape and massacre with frankness and perception. He draws out general principles for interpreting the ethics of biblical narrative and shows that even the most unpromising passages of Scripture are useful to the discerning reader." - Gordon Wenham, Professor Old Testament, University of Gloucestershire in Cheltenham
Robin Parry Craig Bartholomew
Robin Parry grew up near Liverpool before moving to Wales at the age of ten. It was in Wales that he became a Christian. In 1991, after completing his undergraduate degree in theology and some teacher training, he got married to Carol and moved to Worcester (the original one). They have been there ever since. Robin and Carol have two daughters, Hannah and Jessica, and a cat called Monty. Having been a teacher in a Sixth Form College (1991-2001), he moved into theological publishing, first at Paternoster (2001-2010) and then at Wipf and Stock (2010-), where he works as an editor. Robin's MA and PhD were in Old Testament, both degrees overseen by Professor Gordon Wenham. Robin writes books for a hobby and is trying to learn to play the cajon.