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Reviews401 in historical study. She concludes that feminist archaeologists are striving "to become self-aware, but remain silent about our personal experiences; and to be objective in our research methodologies, but subjective and imaginative in our interpretations." Contributions by Shelley P. Haley, Barbara K Gold, and Diana Robin provide interesting applications of contemporary feminist theory for approaching the classics: Black feminist thought, AliceJardine's theory of gynesis, and contemporary film theory. The remaining articles, by Bella Zweig, Tina Passman, Peter W. Rose, and Amy Richlin, raise some very challenging questions whose concerns deserve fuller treatment elsewhere. The essays by Zweig, Passman, and Rose are largely self-referential and seem to do little more than present the personal agendas of the authors—the very concern the volume criticizes in the exclusionary practices of traditional classicists. While the Native American, lesbian, and Marxist orientations of scholars are legitimate and important approaches of study, the connections between these angles of interpretation and classical study need to be made much more clearly, rigorously, and convincingly in order to demonstrate the actual value of the connections these writers note. Richlin's piece ends the volume where it begins with two concluding questions: "What would [feminist theory] mean for classics? What can we do to make a difference?" This volume provides a useful collection of rigorously documented essays that begin to answer these questions. The volume demonstrates not only the importance offeminist theory for classical studies, but, even more importantly, the value of this work for other disciplines as a means towards reconceptualizing our past and, thereby, our present. Bradley UniversitySusan B. Brill The Text as Thou: Martin Ruber'sDialogicalHermeneutics and Narrative Theology, by Steven Kepnes; xvi & 221 pp. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1992, $35.00. Irving Greenberg has said that in the post-Holocaust world there must be "no more final solutions" and thatJewish philosophers must adopt a dialectical understanding. Steven Kepnes agrees, adding that our dialectics should be tempered by existentialism. We can find the roots ofa proper understanding in Buber, says Kepnes, for Buber anticipates the dialectical hermeneutics of philosophers like Gadamer and Ricouer, but is saved from postmodern excesses by his concrete Old Testament ground. Kepnes begins the book by looking at Buber's earliest position on interpre- 402Philosophy and Literature tation: a Diltheyan romantic hermeneutic which compelled him, in the name of common human feeling and the search for a primal unity, to take extraordinary liberties in his first "translations" of Hasidic tales. He then explains how Buber's hermeneutic understanding shifted, partly as a result of the famous debate with Gershom Scholem. Scholem stood at one extreme, representing the possibility of objective scholarship. Buber stood at the other, representing romantic passion and personal commitment. Out of the encounter between the two emerged the new Buber of dialogical hermeneutics, the Buber who was rigorous about historical detail but continued to stand against objectivity. The new dialogical Buber, according to Kepnes, believed understanding to be an attempt to arrive at what Ricouer was later to call a "refiguring" and Gadamer a "fusion of horizons." This is the first of many passages where Kepnes describes Buber's understanding as a synthesis of two extremes. In these passages it seems to me that Kepnes distorts any distinctive element in Buber's thought by representing it as part ofan overall historical dialectic. Most ofthese descriptions climax, like this one does, in a quasi-Heideggerian Buber. Despite Kepnes's avowed intentions, the occasional relief offered by a discussion of Buber'sJewish common sense is not enough to overcome the popularized Heideggerian tone of the book. After this start, it is not surprising that the "narrative theology" ofthe subtitle turns out to mean that Buber's stories function to reveal the presencing of being as temporality (or rather, that things change as time passes). Indeed, throughout the book, various elements ofBuber's thought are emphasized and linked in such a way that Buber is associated, through the Heideggerian tradition, with an idealistic Parousiaism. So in chapter three we learn that Buber is a prophet, in chapter four that he is working (like Bakhtin) toward redemptive community, in chapter six that the self is "in process" and can be...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. 401-403
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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