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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Melville's Bibles
Pardes, Ilana

Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2008 pp. xiii + 192. $24.95


Description: Many writers in antebellum America sought to reinvent the Bible, but no one, Ilana Pardes argues, was as insistent as Melville on redefining biblical exegesis while doing so. In Moby-Dick he not only ventured to fashion a grand new inverted Bible in which biblical rebels and outcasts assume center stage, but also aspired to comment on every imaginable mode of biblical interpretation, calling for a radical reconsideration of the politics of biblical reception. In Melville's Bibles, Pardes traces Melville's response to a whole array of nineteenth-century exegetical writings--literary scriptures, biblical scholarship, Holy Land travel narratives, political sermons, and women's bibles. She shows how Melville raised with unparalleled verve the question of what counts as Bible and what counts as interpretation.

Subjects: Methods, Historical Approaches, History, History of Interpretation

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Review by Michael Kaler
Published 5/2/2009
Citation: Michael Kaler, review of Ilana Pardes, Melville's Bibles, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2009).


Review by Mark Elliott
Published 11/29/2008
Citation: Mark Elliott, review of Ilana Pardes, Melville's Bibles, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2008).


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