The Fate of King David
The Past and Present of a Biblical Icon
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Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Number of Pages: 352
Celebrating the five hundredth volume, this Festschrift honors David M. Gunn, one of the founders of the Journal of Old Testament Studies, later the Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies, and offers essays representing cutting-edge interpretations of the David material in the Hebrew Bible and later literary and popular culture. Essays in Part One, Relating to David, present David in relationship to other characters in Samuel. These essays demonstrate the value of close reading, analysis of literary structure, and creative, disciplined readerly imagination in interpreting biblical texts in general and understanding the character of David in particular. Part Two, Reading David, expands the narrative horizon. These essays analyze the use of the David character in larger biblical narrative contexts. David is understood as a literary icon that communicates and disrupts meaning in different ways in different context. More complex modes of interpretation enter in, including theories of metaphor, memory and history, psychoanalysis, and post-colonialism. Part Three, Singing David, shifts the focus to the portrayal of David as singer and psalmist, interweaving in mutually informative ways both with visual evidence from the ancient Near East depicting court musicians and with the titles and language of the biblical psalms. Part Four, Receiving David, highlights moments in the long history of interpretation of the king in popular culture, including poetry, visual art, theatre, and children's literature. Finally, the essays in Part Five, Re-locating David, represent some of the intellectually and ethically vital interpretative work going on in contexts outside the U.S. and Europe.
This is no ordinary Festschrift, neither is the person to whom it is dedicated. David Gunn has inspired and mentored generations of biblical scholars, enabling us to navigate our discipline's sometimes arcane paths with insight and integrity. Imitating David Gunn, this volume combines a depth of insight with a usefulness usually lacking in the Festschrift genre, cohering as the collection does around the figure of the biblical David. Each of the essays draws in some way on David Gunn's pioneering work and goes on to offer fresh resources for reflecting on biblical David for future generations of scholars, teachers, and students. David Gunn's mantle of scholar and mentor has been passed on. This volume celebrates both Davids. Gerald West, School of Religion and Theology, University of KwaZulu-Natal