ACADEMIA

Reviews on Resources for Biblical and Theological Studies

Hens-Piazza. NEW HISTORICISM (2002)

Written By: Paulson Pulikottil - Jun• 02•08

Hens-Piazza, Gina. The New Historicism (Guides to Biblical Scholarship, Old Testament Series: Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2002).

The series titled “Guides to Biblical Scholarship” from Fortress Press has now been accepted as the most affordable, concise textbook series on the various approaches to Biblical studies. The present volume on New Historicism is the timeliest addition to the series since New Historicism as a relatively new discipline is making its impact on Biblical Studies worldwide.

The format is same as that of the previous volumes: Definition and explanation of the approach under discussion, its history of development and entry into Biblical Studies, examples of the approach and then a critical evaluation of the method. Hens-Piazza tells us in this volume what is New Historicism and how is it different from Historicism. She also tells us in what ways it is unique among other approaches to the Bible or what is its contribution. Though, New Historicism is an approach which claims itself to be above the restrictions of any particular methodology but a mindset, she delineates the salient and recurring characteristics of this approach for those who are still eager to know its “methodology”. The three examples of New Historicist approach to the Bible illustrate and clarify this new approach to the study of the Bible, particularly the Old Testament.

The claim of the publisher that, “With lucid and jargon-free description, this study sets forth New Historicism for the nonspecialist” is definitely justified.

The series titled “Guides to Biblical Scholarship” from Fortress Press has now been accepted as the most affordable, concise textbook series on the various approaches to Biblical studies. The present volume on New Historicism is the timeliest addition to the series since New Historicism as a relatively new discipline is making its impact on Biblical Studies worldwide.

The format is same as that of the previous volumes: Definition and explanation of the approach under discussion, its history of development and entry into Biblical Studies, examples of the approach and then a critical evaluation of the method. Hens-Piazza tells us in this volume what is New Historicism and how is it different from Historicism. She also tells us in what ways it is unique among other approaches to the Bible or what is its contribution. Though, New Historicism is an approach which claims itself to be above the restrictions of any particular methodology but a mindset, she delineates the salient and recurring characteristics of this approach for those who are still eager to know its “methodology”. The three examples of New Historicist approach to the Bible illustrate and clarify this new approach to the study of the Bible, particularly the Old Testament.

The claim of the publisher that, “With lucid and jargon-free description, this study sets forth New Historicism for the nonspecialist” is definitely justified.