The Bible in the Public Square: Reading the Signs of the Times

eds. by Cynthia Briggs Kittredge, Ellen Bradshaw Aitken & Jonathan A. Draper. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2008. 274 pp.

Though the Bible has long enjoyed a place of privilege in the American public square, much of the contemporary discussion centers on the influence of the religious right in national politics and on the principled "separation of church and state." How might other perspectives on the Bible help us to "read the signs of the times" and move beyond the status quo? In The Bible in the Public Square, renowned biblical interpreters reflect on how biblically informed engagement with political issues, ancient as well as modern, is reshaping the face of contemporary biblical scholarship and challenging American civil religion. This insightful exploration bridges conventional gaps between university, seminary, church, and civic life. Contents: Part I: Biblical Insight into the Present Moment 1. Church Bible Studies, Ancient and Modern Empires, and the Gospel according to John / Warren Carter 2. Hastening the Day when the Earth Will Burn: Global Warming, 2 Peter, and the Book of Revelation / Barbara Rossing 3. Biblical Hermeneutics in a Secular Age: Reflections from South Africa Twenty Years after the Kairos Document / Jonathan A. Draper 4. Echoes of Paul in the Speeches of George W. Bush / Cynthia Briggs Kittredge 5. American Babylon: Days in the Life of an African-American Idea / Allen D. Callahan 6. Do Not Fear What They Fear: A Post-9/11 Reflection on Isaiah 8:11-18 / Norman Gottwald Part II: Questioning the Ekklēsia and the Academy 7. Hermeneutics in the American Empire: Toward an Anti-Imperialist Theology / Max A. Myers 8. Contending with the Bible: Biblical Interpretation as a Site of Struggle in South Africa / Gerald O. West 9. The Blessings of Hegemony: Poverty, Paul’s Assemblies, and the Class Interests of the Professoriate / Steven J. Friesen 10. “Nobody Tasted Blood in It”: Public Intellectuals Interrogating Myths of Innocence in Biblical Studies / Abraham Smith 11. Jesus’ Subversive Victory Shouts in Matthew 27: Toward an Empowering Theology of the Cross / Robert Ekblad Part III: Prospects for Politically Engaged Biblical Studies 12. Reading Scripture in the Context of Empire / Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza 13. Coded Resistance: A Proposed Rereading of Romans 13:1-7 / Sze-kar Wan 14. A Famine of the Word: A Stringfellowian Reflection on the American Church Today / Neil Elliott 15. Communities Reading the Bible and Public Vision / Antoinette Clark Wire