Two new items: Criticism of Religion (paperback) and Narratives of the Fall

Criticism of Religion is now out in paperback from Haymarket Books (that reputable press run by the International Socialists – in the USA, of all places).

And on Bible and Interpretation a new piece called ‘Narratives of the Fall‘ – on the nature and practices of biblical criticism.

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5 thoughts on “Two new items: Criticism of Religion (paperback) and Narratives of the Fall

  1. As for your narratives of the fall, I’ve got a peculiar ongoing interest in why scholars have been so interested in pure origins. I agree with the fetishising element in all this, and that the philological and historical-critical searches are too often bound up with a search for some fantastic pristine moment. But the target of criticism here is this motivation itself, this persistent Romanticism of this moment in which meaning is first inscribed. Apart from all that, it’s still fairly interesting to guess at what people meant at particular points in time and in particular places, as utterly contingent as these things are, and as completely arbitrary in terms of a point in time. More concretely, it’s interesting – and I don’t think there is any fall narrative necessarily involved here – to estimate what the writers of a Ugaritic tablet thought about the dead, what the writer of Numbers thought about the dead, what Jesus thought about the dead, what Nick Cave thinks about the dead. Being the less idealist of us, the uncertainty in any of these matters does not concern me, but it doesn’t pose any complete roadblock eiher to estimating what range of more probable meanings are encoded in a Ugaritic tablet, in Numbers, in what Jesus said, or in what Nick Cave sings about.

    Still, and admittedly, some people seem to think they can be face-to-face with God as a result of each of these interpretations, rather than, inevitably, only catching a gimpse of His/Her divine arse.

      1. A half-arsed interpretation is still better than making a complete arse of it.

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