Journal Article

Robert Alter and the Bible as Literature

Brian Britt

in Literature and Theology

Volume 24, issue 1, pages 56-72
Published in print March 2010 | ISSN: 0269-1205
Published online February 2010 | e-ISSN: 1477-4623 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/litthe/frp054
Robert Alter and the Bible as Literature

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Robert Alter’s influential studies and translations of the Hebrew Bible emphasise the texts’ literary artistry over history or theology. This essay discusses Alter’s work in the context of the interrelated discussions of ‘the Bible as literature’ and ‘religion and secularism’. Alter’s literary studies of the Bible have aimed to redirect scholarly attention to overlooked methods of study, but they also resonate with cultural debates on the Bible, religion and secularism in public life. My argument is that Alter’s work, while it defends the secular study of literature, engages questions of religion and secularity in nuanced ways that echo and complement the work of Walter Benjamin and Talal Asad.

Journal Article.  7714 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Religion and Art, Literature, and Music

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