Modes of Faith: Secular Surrogates for Lost Religious Belief

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Hendel com- ments on their inclusion but does not probe as deeply into how these anoma- lous characters emerge and why. When, in other examples, like the positive depiction of the seer Balaam, Hendel plumbs the depictions of the foreigner for an ongoing discourse between memory and counter-memory, he reveals the development of Israelite identity with greater clarity.

In Chapter 2, the eponymous chapter, Hendel pursues the revision of memory and cultural identity further by focusing on Abraham, whose remem- brance, he argues, produces collective identity but also reveals dissensions and divisions.

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Hendel traces the changing depiction of Abraham across the Pentateuchal sources to argue for the kind of solution favored by literary scholarship: taken together, the sources yield a multi-dimensional, if not bewildering, character for Abraham. Hendel, in Chapter 3, wades into the debate over the historicity of the Patriarchs.

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He seeks to break the impasse between the minimalists and the maximalists through the construct of memory, although, admittedly, his selec- tion of evidence and his reading of that evidence is decidedly more of the maximalist camp. For example, Hendel argues that references to El and Haran suggest a prehistory to the Genesis narratives; some of the traditions about the patriarchs are both earlier than the sources for the Pentateuch and, indeed, as early as the mid-second Millennium, making them earlier than Israel itself.

Next, Hendel considers that foundational force in Israelite religion, the Exodus event, and specifically that quality of the biblical account that has fru- strated both twentieth-century historical and synchronic readings: its generic quality, both in the sense of time and in basic identifying features, such as the identity of the Pharaoh. The biblical depiction of Moses, with all of its rich overlay of later embellishment, does not obscure basic anomalous features, which must, therefore, have been original: his name and his marriage into the Midianites.

Hendel then turns to what we know of Solomon historically and how he is presented in the biblical narrative. He draws a contrast between the sense and meaning of history in the Hebrew Bible and the Greek conception of history.

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Indeed, the book is methodologically intriguing not simply because of its application of collective memory to the biblical text, but for the sheer diversity of approaches Hendel adroitly employs—literary, historical, archaeological, linguistic, text critical; Hendel is adept at building on the strengths and compensating for the limitations of each method. Taken as a whole, the book substantiates the diversity of scripture—the many competing voices the Bible includes, both in presenting points of contention and also in reinterpreting earlier traditions in light of new situations.

Modes of Faith: Secular Surrogates for Lost Religious Belief - Theodore Ziolkowski - Google книги

Certainly more needs to be done to trace the historical circumstances that gave rise to the overlays of memory, the when, where, and why of how they originated. This desire for more may also be because the essays, especially in the latter half of the book, present a series of case studies, more than a developing and deepening argument. By Theodore Ziolkowski. The University of Chicago Press, Related Papers. Historical Texts in the Hebrew Bible?

By Marc Brettler. By Ron Hendel. By Barat Ellman. By Ronald A Geobey. Out of Egypt or Out of Canaan?

Modes of faith : secular surrogates for lost religious belief

Levy, T. Schneider W. Propp eds.

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. More In the decades surrounding World War I, religious belief receded in the face of radical new ideas such as Marxism, modern science, Nietzschean philosophy, and critical theology.

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Authors Affiliations are at time of print publication. Theodore Ziolkowski, author More Less. Print Save Cite Email Share. Show Summary Details.

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Subscriber Login Email Address. Library Card. View: no detail some detail full detail. Part One The Decline of Faith. Chapter One Introduction.

Chapter Three Theologians of the Profane. Part Two New Modes of Faith. Chapter Four The Religion of Art.

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Chapter Five Pilgrimages to India. Chapter Six The God that Failed. Chapter Seven The Hunger for Myth. Chapter Eight The Longing for Utopia. Part Three Conclusion. Chapter Nine Renewals of Spirituality. End Matter Index.