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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

‘Perhaps There is Hope’: Reading Lamentations as a Polyphony of Pain, Penitence, and Protest
Bier, Miriam

London: T&T Clark, 2015 pp. xv + 249. $120.00

Series Information
Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies, 603


Description: Bier proposes here a strong new understanding of the Book of Lamentations, drawing on Bakhtinian ideas of multiple voices to analyse the poetic speaking voices within the text; examining their theological perspectives, and nuancing the interaction between them. Bier scrutinises interpretations of Lamentations, distinguishing between exegesis that reads Lamentations as a theodicy, in defense of God, and those that read it as an anti-theodicy, in defense of Zion. Rather than reductively adopting either of these approaches, this book advocates a dialogic approach to Lamentations, reading to hear the full polyphony of pain, penitence, and protest.

Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Writings, Lamentations, Literature, Methods, Literary Approaches

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Review by Amy C. Cottrill
Published 12/29/2016
Citation: Amy C. Cottrill, review of Miriam Bier, ‘Perhaps There is Hope’: Reading Lamentations as a Polyphony of Pain, Penitence, and Protest, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2016).


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