'Symposia' illuminates the central issues and concerns of biblical studies by presenting a series of stories. The model for the stories is the ancient Greek idea of the symposium, a 'sitting down together for the purpose of drinking'. In Plato's writings, the symposium becomes a genre of writing with Socrates at its centre, a character who perpetually questions in order to develop the pursuit of knowledge. Some of the most influential figures in the history of biblical studies - Julius Wellhausen, Hermann Gunkel, Martin Noth, Brevard Childs, Norman Gottwald, Phyllis Trible, and the Bible and Culture Collective - become the central characters in these stories. Each aims to voice their central arguments, to highlight and confront the key challenges they see and, of course, to dispute the positions of others.
Preface 1. Caught in the Prolegomena: Julius Wellhausen and Source Criticism 2. In the Beginning: Hermann Gunkel and Form Criticism 3. In the Underground: Martin Noth and Redaction Criticism 4. The Longest Revolution: Phyllis Trible and Feminist Criticism 5. A Spectre is Haunting Biblical Studies: Norman Gottwald and the Social Sciences 6. On the Beach: The Bible and Culture Collective and the Postmodern Bible