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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Competing for Honor: A Social-Scientific Reading of Daniel 1-6
Kirkpatrick, Shane

Leiden: Brill, 2005 pp. xvii + 196. $146.00

Series Information
Biblical Interpretation Series, 74

Description: Using social-scientific criticism, this work presents a reading of Daniel 1-6 as literature of resistance. The characters and episodes of these tales are read against a backdrop of social competition for the cultural value of honor. Each of the tales of Daniel 1-6 is analyzed, revealing a comparison that is sustained throughout the compilation and that pits the Judean tradition in competition with a dominant foreign tradition. The dynamics of comparison and competition are explored in each tale with the help of social-scientific models depicting honor and exploring the related dynamics of purity, patronage, virtue, limited good, and envy. This work is particularly useful for scholars and students interested in social-scientific criticism and the value of that methodology for Hebrew Bible study, as well as for those interested in Daniel, honor and shame, ancient rhetoric, and cultural resistance in the postexilic period.

Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Apocalyptic Literature, Daniel, Literature, Methods, Social-Scientific Approaches

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Review by John J. Collins
Published 2/23/2008
Citation: John J. Collins, review of Shane Kirkpatrick, Competing for Honor: A Social-Scientific Reading of Daniel 1-6, Review of Biblical Literature [] (2008).

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