Review by Choice Review
Twenty-six authors, some of them new voices in the discussion, present an overview of current social-scientific approaches to Christian origins and literature. Grouped under six topic headings, the 27 contributions include both topical surveys and case studies illustrating applied theory. Three articles introduce New Testament social scientific criticism. The selected articles that follow reflect accurately the volume's title by covering specific, but often neglected, social-scientific approaches such as archaeology, literary criticism, stylometric analysis, rhetorical criticism, psychology of religion, and structuralism alongside expected sociological topics like the sociology of knowledge, group formation and identity, the politics of power, and economics. Although similar to Social-Scientific Approaches to New Testament Interpretation (1999), edited by David G. Horrell, whose contributions to the present volume include a revision of his 1999 introduction, the present volume differs in the greater variety of its contributors' competencies and its resulting broader disciplinary scope. The volume's comprehensive bibliography is specified by a series of convenient topical bibliographies and complemented by lists of both ancient authors and compilations of ancient sources, along with author, biblical citation, and subject indexes. With only slight inconsistencies in article quality, this volume is rightly called a handbook. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through professionals. J. C. Hanges Miami University
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