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Title: Bridging the Gap: Ritual and Ritual Texts in the Bible
Author: Klingbeil, Gerald A
Publisher: Eisenbrauns; Publication Date: 2007
Hardcover; ISBN: 9781575068015
Volumes: 1; Pages: xiv, 304
List Price in Hardcover: $39.50 Our price: $32.99
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This volume is intended to introduce university and seminary students and scholars to the neglected field of ritual studies, particularly within the larger context of biblical and theological studies. At the same time, the author hopes to further the discussion by interacting with numerous scholars in the field, providing an extensive bibliography of relevant works. Klingbeil defines the basic terms used in ritual studies and explains the concepts involved in interpreting biblical ritual. He offers a broad history of the study of biblical ritual, beginning with the critiques of ritual found in the Old Testament prophetic books and surveying attitudes toward ritual down to modern times. Drawing on the fields of anthropology and sociology, as well as his decade of work in the field, Klingbeil presents a comprehensive reading strategy for biblical ritual texts. In addition, he explores connections between ritual studies and theological research. This ground-breaking study promises to generate discussion about biblical ritual and provides an excellent introduction to this growing field of study for students and scholars.
"In the ancient world, cult was both a discourse with nature and its symbols as well as the means by which, through language and ritual, the world was held together. Within the last two decades, this insight has not only become a mainstay of sociological and religious studies but has also penetrated biblical studies and has broken down the ingrained prejudice against ritual per se. This wonderful book by Gerald Klingbeil takes up the theme of rite and ritual in a transparent manner, combining and fruitfully connecting it to both the Hebrew Bible and to Christian theology in general. In the future, everyone interested in ritual studies will benefit from the clear orientation and insights found in this volume."-Bernd Janowski, Professor of Old Testament, University of T ubingen, Germany
"Gerald Klingbeil has provided a unique and indispensable introduction to the study of biblical ritual texts. Integrating a wealth of multidisciplinary literature regarding many kinds of rituals, both inside and outside the Bible, he successfully bridges the gap between biblical and social-science approaches to ritual. The resulting theoretical, methodological, comparative, theological, and historical perspectives on a variety of ritual dimensions will richly inform and inspire a wide range of readers."-Roy E. Gane, Professor of Hebrew Bible and Ancient Near Eastern Languages, Andrews University
"Gerald Klingbeil has written a book that accurately reflects his title, Bridging the Gap: Ritual and Ritual Texts in the Bible. The book provides an excellent introduction to the study of biblical rituals, covering the material on ritual found in both Testaments. He locates his discussion within the context of the larger field of ritual studies and finishes the book with an excellent bibliography, providing a resource for all who wish to pursue the topic further.
Klingbeil covers an enormous amount of material, and his discussions are clear, concise, and insightful. He writes with beginning students in mind and carefully leads them through difficult and complex issues. However, the book is more than an introduction for students; Klingbeil provides a comprehensive and insightful overview of the current state of biblical ritual studies that scholars already working in the field will appreciate. He has written the most complete discussion of biblical rituals and their investigation to date. Scholars will be grateful that he has brought together in one volume such a large amount of information on the topic. A third group of readers, I hope, will be those who do not immediately think that the study of biblical ritual is of interest. For them, Klingbeil opens the door, showing that study of this topic is not only exciting but also holds significant promise and implications for the future study of the Bible, rituals, and theology."-Frank Gorman, author of The Ideology of Ritual: Space, Time, and Status in the Priestly Theology