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The Psalter as Witness
Theology, Poetry, and Genre
Edited by W. Dennis Tucker, Jr. and W. H. Bellinger, Jr.
The Psalter as Witness considers the complexity of the Psalms as well as their role in bearing witness to the theological claims that comprise Israel’s traditions. While no single volume can readily capture the full range of the Psalter’s theology, these chapters provide rich reflection on significant themes in selected psalms, in collections of psalms, and even across the structure of the Psalter itself. The result of the Baylor-Bonn symposium, The Psalter as Witness employs the full array of methodological approaches to the Psalms practiced in both Germany and North America. The Psalter as Witness thus effectively mirrors the theological, thematic, and generic intricacies of the Psalms in the myriad ways interpreters read the Psalter. The Psalms here become a window into the central, life-giving commitments of Israel in its call to justice and mercy, its practice of ethics and politics, and its worship and life with God.
Part One. Theological Approaches to the Psalms
1. Poetry and Theology in the Psalms: Psalm 133
W. H. Bellinger Jr.
2. Feminine Imagery and Theology in the Psalter: Psalms 90, 91, and 92
3. “Who Is Like the Lord Our God?”: Theology and Ethics in the Psalms
Harry P. Nasuti
4. David and the Political Theology of the Psalter
Stephen Breck Reid
5. Spatial Theory and Theology in Psalms 46-48
Till Magnus Steiner
Part Two. Theological Themes in the Psalms
6. Human Transience, Justice, and Mercy: Psalm 103
7. The God of Heaven in Book 5 of the Psalter
W. Dennis Tucker Jr.
8. The Theology of the Poor in the Psalter
9. The Elohistic Psalter: Formation and Purpose
10. The Elohistic Psalter: History and Theology
Joel S. Burnett
Part Three. Genre and Theology
11. The Psalter as a Book: Genre as Key to Its Theology
12. Genre, Theology, and the God of the Psalms
"In a mere twelve essays, the methodological fervor of current Psalms scholarship is well represented. This volume addresses a remarkably wide range of topics, from politics to theology, the performative to space construction, poverty, and aesthetics. Moreover, The Psalter as Witness generously features emerging and well-established scholars."
—William P. Brown, William Marcellus McPheeters Professor of Old Testament, Columbia Theological Seminary
"The Psalter as Witness engages with concerns such as the nature of community, feminism, ethics, politics, the poor, and Zionism in the Psalms; with theological themes such as the mercy and transcendence of God; and with literary issues such as the shaping of the Psalter. Its non-partisan approach makes for stimulating reading for anyone—a specialist or not—who is interested in exploring what the Psalms say about God and his people then and now."
—Susan Gillingham, Professor of the Hebrew Bible, Worcester College, University of Oxford
W. Dennis Tucker, Jr. is Professor of Christian Scripture at George W. Truett Theological Seminary.
W. H. Bellinger, Jr. is Chair of the Department of Religion and W. Marshall and Lulie Craig Chairholder in Bible at Baylor University.