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The Dialogues of Jeremiah


Toward a Phenomenology of Exile


An emerging consensus maintains that the exile was not as extensive as the Old Testament claims. However, that it held singular importance for the book of Jeremiah is beyond question. Modine argues that Jeremiah represents a range of options for understanding and responding to the events surrounding the destruction of Jerusalem and its temple. This volume reads the diverse contents of Jeremiah as a kind of dialogue between competing perceptions of the exile. The author argues that coherence is to be found precisely in the incoherent, as it reflects the communal trauma of exile.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
Availability: In stock
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-4632-0376-4
  • *
Publication Status: In Print

Publication Date: Jun 11,2014
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 317
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-4632-0376-4
$106.00

An emerging consensus maintains that the exile was not as extensive as the Old Testament claims. However, that it held singular importance for the book of Jeremiah is beyond question. Mitchel Modine argues that Jeremiah represents something of a range of options for understanding and responding to the events leading up to and following the destruction of Jerusalem and its temple. Not all possible ideas are covered, but a wide variety may be found. Modine seeks to uncover the rudiments of an important dialogue going on about the reasons for, the character of, and the prospects for new life after the exile. Though what remains in Jeremiah is likely not the actual words of anyone, a way through the messy results of redaction after redaction can be had by considering what perceptions the book assigned to whom. Modine demonstrates that all of the varied perceptions in Jeremiah, and even many more besides, contribute to the emerging collective memory of ancient Judah. That the perceptions of the exile were so varied as to defy coherency is surely a testimony to the vibrancy and importance of a document like Jeremiah. Along the way, by claiming that Israel’s God was in control of the events of world history, the book makes a profoundly defiant stand against the power of the empire.

An emerging consensus maintains that the exile was not as extensive as the Old Testament claims. However, that it held singular importance for the book of Jeremiah is beyond question. Mitchel Modine argues that Jeremiah represents something of a range of options for understanding and responding to the events leading up to and following the destruction of Jerusalem and its temple. Not all possible ideas are covered, but a wide variety may be found. Modine seeks to uncover the rudiments of an important dialogue going on about the reasons for, the character of, and the prospects for new life after the exile. Though what remains in Jeremiah is likely not the actual words of anyone, a way through the messy results of redaction after redaction can be had by considering what perceptions the book assigned to whom. Modine demonstrates that all of the varied perceptions in Jeremiah, and even many more besides, contribute to the emerging collective memory of ancient Judah. That the perceptions of the exile were so varied as to defy coherency is surely a testimony to the vibrancy and importance of a document like Jeremiah. Along the way, by claiming that Israel’s God was in control of the events of world history, the book makes a profoundly defiant stand against the power of the empire.

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Contributor Biography

Mitchel Modine

Mitchel Modine is Assistant Professor of Old Testament at Asia-Pacific Nazarene Theological Seminary, just outside Manila, Philippines. He has presented his work before numerous scholarly societies, including the Society of Biblical Literature and the Wesleyan Theological Society.

  • Dedication Page (page 5)
  • Table of Contents (page 7)
  • Acknowledgements (page 9)
  • Abbreviations (page 11)
  • Introduction (page 13)
  • 1 Framing the Dialogues (page 29)
    • Multivocality in Jeremiah (page 31)
    • The Bible as Perception Literature (page 41)
    • Recent Commentaries (page 58)
    • Useful Historical Studies (page 70)
  • 2 Dialogues with God (page 93)
    • Punishment for Abandoning Yahweh to Serve Other Gods (page 95)
    • Perceptions of Devastation (page 99)
    • Returning to the Iniquities of the Ancestors (page 118)
    • Punishment for Failure to Repent (page 123)
    • Punishment with the Possibility of Redemption (page 132)
    • No Intercession or Redemption (page 143)
    • Punishment for the Sins of the Rulers (page 147)
  • 3 Dialogues with Religious Opponents (page 153)
    • Jeremiah and the Priests (page 154)
    • Jeremiah and the Devotees of the Queen of Heaven (page 159)
    • Jeremiah and the Prophets (page 167)
  • 4 Dialogues with Survivors (page 183)
    • Experiencing (Real or Imagined) Advantage in the Exilic Period (page 184)
    • Hope for the Future (page 190)
    • Accepting Babylonian Rule (page 200)
    • Resisting Babylonian Rule (page 211)
  • 5 Dialogues with Political Leaders (page 221)
    • Others Agreeing with the Dominant View (page 222)
    • Before the Destruction (page 228)
    • After the Destruction (page 244)
  • 6 Dialogues with a (Re-) Constituted Community (page 253)
    • Life Will Return to Normal (page 254)
    • Life Will Be Different (page 271)
  • Conclusion (page 281)
    • Summary of the Dialogues (page 282)
    • Examination of Alignments (page 285)
    • Prospects for Further Study (page 288)
  • Bibliography (page 293)
  • Index (page 309)
    • Subject and Name (page 309)
    • Biblical Passages (page 315)
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