James E. Harding [+–]
University of Otago
The story of Job is often read as a simple tale of innocent suffering. A pious man is put to the test, proves his faithfulness, and is richly rewarded. Yet the book of Job is perhaps the most linguistically challenging and theologically complex work in the Hebrew scriptures. The reception of the book in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, in literature, the visual arts, philosophy, and modern biblical scholarship, has shown that neither the book of Job nor its protagonist are in any way simple. The book is, furthermore, about far more than the problem of innocent suffering.
Aimed primarily at advanced undergraduate and graduate students, this volume introduces some of the most significant recent approaches to the book of Job, drawing on a variety of exegetical, theoretical, and cultural perspectives. It challenges the predominance of western perspectives on the book of Job by incorporating approaches to the book from Africa, Aotearoa New Zealand, and the Pacific. The essays cover the poetics of the book and the challenges of translating it, the history of composition and reception, the use of irony and metaphor, intertextual allusion, the figure of Job’s wife, constructions of femininity and masculinity, justice, ethics, ecology, creation, post-humanism, the body, the place of Job in early Judaism and Christianity, theological exegesis, trauma hermeneutics, and the reception of Job in modern philosophy. The collection concludes with a postcolonial Moana reading of Leviathan and a profound engagement with the ambiguities of Job’s final response to the deity.
This volume will be first published online and then as a print book.