This book charts the mutations of a particularly buoyant sliver of Bible text - the book of Jonah - as it latches onto Christian and Jewish motifs and anxieties, passes through highbrow and lowbrow culture, and finally becomes something of a scavenger among the ruins, as, in its most resourceful move to date, it begins to live off the demise of faith. Written at a point between Cultural Studies, Jewish Studies, Literature and Art, this book is concerned with those versions of the biblical that escape proper disciplinary boundaries: it shifts the focus from 'Mainstream' to 'Backwater' interpretation. It is less a navigation of interpretative history and more an interrogation of larger political/cultural issues: anti-Judaism in Biblical Studies, the secularisation of the Bible, and the projection of the Bible as credulous ingenu, naive Other to our savvy post-Enlightenment selves.
'Learned, clever and playful book from one of the most gifted of younger biblical scholars in Britain ... a real feast.' Expository Times '... this publication is an important source of the history of biblical hermeneutics and the most comprehensive reception history of the text of Jonah at present. It gives me great pleasure to recommend this book to all students and scholars intrigued and puzzled by the varied and creative interpretations of biblical texts and the textual power to reinvent still unforeseen ones. It is an excellent book with horizon-broadening promises for the attentive reader.' Old Testament Essays '... one of the most stimulating works on any biblical text that I have read in years. it sets a new standard for the study of reception history ... Sherwood writes so well. Every page provides entertainment as well as academically rigorous argument ... A very exciting work from an outstanding specialist in Biblical Studies.' Journal of Jewish Studies