By Walter Houston
Contending for Justice analyses texts on social justice within the previous Testament and argues that regardless of their ideological personality they could nonetheless help in shaping a Christian theological method of social and international injustice. The booklet argues at the one hand classification curiosity is fascinated by all texts almost about social justice, and at the different that, that the very curiosity calls for that they need to entice the broadest attainable public through the use of usually permitted moral and theological rules.
Four parts are set out in a hermeneutical thought: texts can be understood as rhetoric in genuine social events, as ideology conserving a social place, as defining famous moral values, and theologically as having a serious and positive strength for the interpreter's personal state of affairs. A moment bankruptcy makes an attempt to caricature the social stipulations during which such texts have been shaped. The hermeneutical scheme is then utilized, yet now not rigidly, to quite a lot of texts: prophetic denunciations of oppression, texts in a number of genres defining the features of the simply person, texts within the Psalms and Isaiah defining the obligation of the king to guard the terrible, visions of a simply group within the prophets, phrases of Torah geared toward conserving the indebted terrible and restoring an self sustaining peasantry, and assertions of the justice of God. The booklet concludes with short reflections at the worth of the previous testomony as a source within the fight for justice.
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Extra info for Contending for Justice: Ideologies and Theologies of Social Justice in the Old Testament
Cf. D o m cris 2007: 157. 17. D o m cris 2007: 4 3 44. 18. F au st 2003a. 19 A g ain , in m o st cases th e in d ic a tio n s are th a t th e fam ily w orking th e fa rm a ls o o w n ed it a n d d id n o t have severe ta x . ren t o r d e b t services e a tin g in to th e ir surpluses. H ow ever, o n e a re a seem s to p re se n t ex c ep tio n s to th is g en e ralizatio n . T h is is th e vicinity o f Je ru sa le m . In th is a r e a fa rm ste a d s a rc sc attered cspccially th ic k ly in th e la te eig h th a n d se v en th centuries.
A te x t is n o t sim ply a tex t, sim ply w o rd s o n paper, b u t is a n act o f c o m m u n ic a tio n , a n activ ity w ith a p u rp o s e w ith in a co m p lex o f re la tio n sh ip s T h e classical stu d y o f rh e to ric is a p p ro p ria te to all texts, since a ll have a p ersu a siv e p u rp o se an d 38. 39. 40. M ira n d a 1977: 36. M o s a la 1989: 35. T h is p a ra g ra p h is slightly a d a p te d from m y essay o n D e u l. 1-18. H o u s to n 1995:296. 1. *41 H ow ever, th e rh e to ric a l stu d y o f b iblical texts is fa r fro m straig h tfo rw ard .
A village in th e h ig h la n d h e a r tla n d o f Israel o r J u d a h in th e tim e o f th e m o n a rc h y w ill ty p ically c o n sist o f a few d o z e n su b s ta n tia l h o u se s o f th e tra d itio n a l fo u r-ro o m type, w ith a g ro u n d a re a m o stly in th e ra n g e 115 130 sq u a re m etres: th e y w o u ld have h a d a seco n d sto re y also. F a u s t argues th a t 7. T h is is alread y signalled in H o lla d a y 's survey article ( H o llad av 1995); b u t em erges m ost stro n g ly in a series o f m o re recent a rticles b y A vraham F aust, a n d in a com prehensive b o o k by h im (F a u st 2005a; th is is in H ebrew ).