This Guide for the Perplexed will demonstrate how modern biblical scholars have expressed dissatisfaction with a one-sided historical-critical approach to biblical texts and have argued that developments in secular literary theory should be applied in biblical studies. Whereas the historical-critical approach was concerned with the moment of a text's production (authorship, date, place of writing etc), the literary approach is concerned with the moment of the text's reception. Eryl W. Davies shows how and why approaches such as 'reader-response criticism', 'feminist criticism', 'ideological criticism', 'canonical criticism' and 'post-colonial criticism' are now becoming more popular in many quarters. The volume explains to the uninitiated in a readable and accessible form how strategies originally derived from secular literary criticism have been adopted by biblical scholars in order to understand the text of Scripture and to appreciate its relevance.
The book is clearly written, with a warmth and gentle humour that make it a pleasure to read. -- Fr Henry Wansbrough OSB Church Times Summarized. New Testament Abstracts