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The Old Testament and Christian Spirituality

The Old Testament and Christian Spirituality: theoretical and practical essays from a South African perspective

Christo Lombaard
  • Book Info
    The Old Testament and Christian Spirituality
    Book Description:

    The emerging discipline of Biblical Spirituality considers how faith finds expression within the biblical texts and how modern expressions of faith interact with those texts. This volume systematically collects the author’s reflective, analytical, and exegetical contributions to the field in order to explore how biblical texts mediate faith, both ancient and contemporary, in theory and in practice. It reflects on aspects of the interaction of faith and Scripture, critically approaching both dimensions. The volume incorporates insights from North American, British, Dutch, German, French, and South African scholarly traditions and intends to stimulate further thought among scholars interested in this small but internationally expanding discipline.

    eISBN: 978-1-58983-653-2
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

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  1. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  2. Introduction
    (pp. vii-x)
    Christo Lombaard

    This volume is a collection of previously published journal articles and chapters in books. For a number of reasons, none of which are good, the academic wheels in South Africa turn not on books, as is the international convention, but on articles in refereed journals. One of the results of this South African habit is that sustained projects by scholars often do not appear in print together. I am very grateful therefore to the publisher, the Society of Biblical Literature, for assisting with, in this case at least, rectifying that situation. I also thank the editors of the International Voices...

  3. The Old Testament in Christian Spirituality: Perspectives on the Undervaluation of the Old Testament in Christian Spirituality
    (pp. 1-26)

    Spirituality is like dancing; play; sex and pleasure;¹ taste and touch and the other senses;² beauty;³ breath and the wind;⁴ in this sense: it is better experienced than described. Words do not succeed, here as in many other spheres of life,⁵ in portraying adequately the dimensions of these primary states of being, these “sensations” of being human. Hence the variety of expressions and definitions employed to explain what is meant by the term “spirituality,” and consequently also the varied domains of religion or faith which are described with this term.⁶

    From an existentialist perspective,⁷ it could be said that faith...

  4. Four South African Proposals for a Central Theme to “Scriptural Spirituality”
    (pp. 27-52)

    In what follows, the proposals made by four South Africans regarding a viable central theme for what may be called “Scriptural spirituality”—that is, a spirituality which seeks explicitly to centre on the Bible—are taken under review. These proposals have been made in three articles and a concise book (which is actually a collection of a lecture series), each seeking to indicate a theme or concept with which to sum up the spirituality we find either in the Bible as a whole or in one of the two Testaments.

    The characteristic concern of Christian spirituality, that it takes its...

  5. Four Recent Books on Spirituality and the Psalms: Some Contextualising, Analytical, and Evaluative Remarks
    (pp. 53-82)

    The turn to spirituality in our time, much to the surprise of those who had earlier predicted a religionless future for humanity, still begs adequate sociological explanation. Although some explanations have been offered—such as a reaction to a dehumanising technocratic age—these are of course only partial explanations. Some have ventured to ascribe the growth of interest in spirituality in Christian circles to an anti-intellectual turn, and though there may be truth to this criticism in some instances, it certainly does not hold true in any universal sense. The blossoming of interest in Biblical Spirituality goes to prove this...

  6. Genealogies and Spiritualities in Genesis 4:17–22, 4:25–26, 5:1–32
    (pp. 83-110)

    Recent Old Testament scholarship has increasingly become aware of the variety of configurations of faith within ancient Israel. This diversity does not involve simply a rather straightforward growth in the faith of Israel from one form of belief in God to, presumably, a more advanced form of belief in God. Such a heilsgeschichtliche approach—in the earlier sense of the term¹—would be akin to “the concept of progressive revelation, a view which regarded Old Testament history as a process of divine education of the Israelite nation.”²

    Rather, Old Testament scholarship has made us increasingly aware of different forms of...

  7. What Is Biblical Spirituality? Perspectives from a Minor Genre of Old Testament Scholarship
    (pp. 111-138)

    Although the phrase “biblical spirituality” has been in use for some time now, the discipline of Biblical Spirituality¹ is rather recent. What has been written about Biblical Spirituality has more often than not been theoretical, discerning possible boundaries to and contents of the field. Yet, on the other hand, much of what has been written about faith in the Bible and faith from the Bible—put in more traditional terms: exegesis and hermeneutics—may well be classified as Biblical Spirituality. Drawing from these streams, and building forth on a series of earlier publications,² I begin to negotiate in the following...

  8. Betwixt Text and Nature, God and Evolution: Biblical Reception and Creationism at the Creation Museum in Cultural-Anthropological Perspective
    (pp. 139-170)

    The genesis of this chapter lies in a two-month research visit during 2008 to St. Paul University, Ottawa, Canada, for a project on the Mass Media and Spirituality.¹ This visit included some time in the United States in order, among other reasons, to visit the Creation Museum ( in Petersburg, Kentucky, just outside Cincinnati, Ohio. The purpose of this visit, as had been arranged with its proprietors and staff beforehand, was to come to a first-hand understanding of the Museum and the message(s) it seeks to convey; to adapt Marshall McLuhanʹs famous phrase: a museum is a message.² Museums too...

  9. Exegesis and Spirituality
    (pp. 171-190)

    Scholars of religion in general and of the Bible in particular are all too aware of the reality that the relationship between the Scriptures and faith is not an easy one;¹ nor has it ever been—contrary to recurring calls that we “return” to the “biblical” faith.² Whereas popular ideas in society on this topic hold to a simplistic relationship, namely that Christianity draws its faith rather directly from the Bible—a view that is to a significant extent also fed by church catechisms, which tend to keep to unhistorical approaches—scholars know that the concepts of “faith” or “Scripture”...

  10. About the Author
    (pp. 191-191)