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With lucid and non-technical language, this study sets forth New Historicism for the non-specialist. Defining New Historicism as a mindset rather than a method, it traces the development, discusses recurring features, and offers illustrations of this new literary approach. Here biblical texts are plunged back into the swirling currents of historical context only to disclose their plural, contradictory, fragmentary, and heterogeneous character. This includes the histories associated, represented, and embedded in those texts. In the process, the carefully guarded distinctions between text and context, history and literature, past and present, fade. In exchange for the loss of these tidy categories, New Historicism offers a potential venue where the sharply drawn border currently separating historical investigations from literary studies in biblical interpretation can be negotiated.
"The New Historicism" tackles the implications of historicism for biblical studies. The author navigates through the maze of new methods for biblical studies to develop a position that accommodates new, postmodern approaches without vitiating the quest for historical knowledge.