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Disciplines

Biblical Studies

Abstract

Scrolls of Love is a book of unions. Edited by a Jew and a Christian who are united by a shared passion for the Bible and a common literary hermeneutic, it joins two biblical scrolls and gathers around them a diverse community of interpreters. It brings together Ruth and the Song of Songs, two seemingly disparate texts of the Hebrew Bible, and reads them through a number of the methodological and theological perspectives.

Respectful of traditional biblical scholarship, the collection of essays moves beyond it; alert to contemporary trends, the volume returns venerable interpretive tradition to center stage. Most significantly, it is interfaith. Despite the fact that Jews and Christians share a common text in the Hebrew Scripture, the two communities have read their Bibles in isolation from one another, in ignorance of the richness of the other's traditions of reading. Scrolls of Love brings the two traditions into dialogue, enriching established modes of interpretation with unconventional ones.

The result is a volume that sets rabbinic, patristic, and medieval readings alongside feminist, psychoanalytic, and autobiographical ones, combining historical, literary, and textual criticism with a variety of artistic reinterpretations—wood cuts and paper cuts, poetry and fiction. Some of the works are scholarly, with the requisite footnotes to draw readers to further inquiry: others are more reflective than analytic, allowing readers to see what it means to live intimately with Scripture. As a unity, the collection presents Ruth and Song of Songs not only as ancient texts that deserve to be treasured but as old worlds capable of begetting the new.



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