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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Simulating Aichele: Essays in Bible, Film, Culture and Theory
Stewart, Melissa C., editor

Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix, 2015 pp. xvi + 253. $85.00

Series Information
Bible in the Modern World, 69

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Description: Simulating Aichele pays tribute to the title of George Aichele’s 2011 book, Simulating Jesus. In contemporary biblical scholarship, Aichele is a notable leader whose writings explore the problems of meaning and referentiality in the Bible and in biblical texts found in non-biblical contexts. His close readings of canonical texts alongside ‘the fantastic’ in film, television and literature reveal the relationships between texts and intertexts. Such juxtapositions expose gaps and liberate strange voices in the Bible and break the stranglehold of canonical ideologies. Aichele shows how the afterlives of biblical texts simultaneously produce present and past realities by simulating both. These afterlives not only pull ancient texts into the present but in the process also change the precursor text(s). This Festschrift presents some of the afterlives of Aichele’s research in Bible, film, culture and theory. Exercises in intertextuality and textual liberation include Yvonne Sherwood’s reading of Jacob and Esau alongside a Sierra Leone twin story ‘Kanu and the Book’; Richard Walsh’s pairing of Jesus’ final lament in Mark with Kafka’s ‘In the Penal Colony’; Tina Pippin’s exploration of the afterlives of Jesus’ baptism in Mark; Gary A. Phillips’s ethical imagining of Martha as the Levinasian Other; and Scott S. Elliott’s interpretation of 1 Corinthians 9 in light of Roland Barthes’ ‘Neutral’. Other contributors explore Bible and film. Robert Paul Seesengood and Jennifer L. Koosed review recent apocalyptic films; Fred W. Burnett analyses the greatest contemporary slacker, the Dude, from The Big Lebowski; and Erin Runions compares the panoptic desire for complete knowledge found in 1 Corinthians and A Scanner Darkly. Finally, Roland Boer looks at the unexpected afterlives of Hebrew and Christian scriptures in Lenin’s speeches, and Stephen D. Moore offers a retrospective essay on postmodernism and biblical studies.

Subjects: Bible, Literature, Methods, Literary Approaches, Postmodern Literary Criticism

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Review by Jay Twomey
Published 2/16/2017
Citation: Jay Twomey, review of Melissa C. Stewart, ed., Simulating Aichele: Essays in Bible, Film, Culture and Theory, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2017).


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