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152Philosophy and Literature reception of Diderot's dialogue brings out a significance that could not have been intended by Diderot, Jauss treats this not as an error, but as an unfolding ofthe latent meaning ofthe work through history. Noting that Hegel's reading nevertheless seems to reduce Diderot's philosopher to a moment in a dialectic that transcends and subsumes him, Jauss closes his essay with a question: does the dialectic necessarily close off a continuing dialogue, or could it "allow new truth to arise from a polyphony of voices without garnering for the voice of the other the unhappy fate that awaits Diderot's philosopher in Hegel's interpretation " (p. 147)? Like Bakhtin's, Jauss's commitment to dialogue is based on respect for the voice of the Other. His book is full of references to fellow scholars, in whose work he almost invariably finds something valuable; it is refreshingly free of polemics. For all its imposing erudition,Jauss's discourse remains open, weaving together a chorus of voices, and always questioning. University of OregonSteven Rendall The Bible as Rhetoric: Studies in Biblical Persuasion and Credibility, edited by Martin Warner; ? Sc 236 pp. London: Roudedge, 1990, $55.00. For the general topic of this eighth volume of the Warwick Studies in Philosophy and Literature, Warner has proposed "the ways in which persuasive (and related literary) procedures of the biblical writers cut across or reinforce their concern with truth" (p. 5). British and American scholars of religious studies, literature, and philosophy have responded in eleven essays that consider subjects asvaried as biblicallanguage, symbolism, structure, and the classification of biblical texts as historical or imaginative writings. Moreover, to elucidate the rhetoricaltechniques ofthe Bible, these essays adoptdiverse critical perspectives: structuralist, deconstructive, feminist, intertextual, and reader response. The initial and final essays suggest strategies that allow us to experience the Bible as both sacred truth and literary text. Lynn Poland's excellent "The Bible and the Rhetorical Sublime" argues that the post-Romantic preference for symbolism over allegory has robbed the Bible ofits affective power, while Cyril Barrett's "The Language of Ecstasy and the Ecstasy of Language" proposes the reading of mystical or prophetic texts as poetic metaphor, a language embodying truth, but not truth that is empirically verifiable. Three unrelated Reviews153 articles challenge traditional interpretations of the Old Testament and Apocrypha . For John Barton, the enduring power of the prophets results not from their analyses of the moral decline of their nation, but rather from their skill in assimilating "the shortcomings of Israel and Judah to models which were generally held, in the ancient world, to cause divine displeasure" (p. 63). David Clines demonstrates that the Book ofJob gives no answers to the problems of suffering and moral retribution. In fact, the prologue and epilogue, as well as the protagonist's singularity, contradict the text's purported meaning. Margarita Stocker considers the Book of Judith another unstable text which anxiously portrays its heroine as both masculine and feminine, self and other. Part Two gains coherence by concentrating on the Gospels, Epistles, and the issues of their claims to truth. Both Stewart Sutherland and Roger Trigg reaffirm the importance of historical truth to any reading of the New Testament, with Trigg suggesting that we apply the criteria of law rather than those of science to our assessment of the evangelists' presentation of history. Warner aligns himself with them in his study of persuasion in the Fourth Gospel by claiming that "the whole persuasive strategy of the Gospel depends on its being subjected to rational controls at the levels of narrative judgment and sign" (p. 177). DavidJasper and George Kennedy present the opposing view. ForJasper, the authoritative proclamations of Mark are a response to the early Christians' desire to "entextualize" themselves, that is to assert their identity and communal interdependence by means of a written text. Kennedy convincingly argues that Paul's proofs of Christ's divinity rely on interpretation and emotion rather than fact. They are "rhetoric," not "history." Finally, Michael Edward's insightful, almost lyrical, treatment of the Gospel of John tries to close the gap in this debate by considering the fourth evangelist as both historian and literary genius who...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. 152-153
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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