Click here to get the answers to the most commonly asked RBL questions.

Review of Biblical Literature Blog

The Changing Shape of Form Criticism: A Relational Approach
Buss, Martin J.
Stipe, Nickie M., editor

Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix, 2010 pp. xiv + 340. $90.00

Series Information
Hebrew Bible Monographs, 18

Buy this book now from SBL

Description: In this important collection of essays by the leading theorist of form, Martin Buss presents in Part I, Steps toward a New Form Criticism, several essays that view forms as complexes of relations that constitute possibilities. This relational approach to form criticism rejects, on the one hand, the idea that reality is at base only particular and, on the other hand, an essentialism that holds that forms are firmly structured and there is a single correct way to classify texts. In Part II, Interdisciplinary Ideas of Sitz im Leben, he shows how Gunkelís notion of Sitz im Leben, derived from his knowledge of other fields, made an impact on leading figures in several disciplines. They modified the notion, and their analyses became known to a number of biblical scholars. This cross-pollination introduced a new understanding of the notion of Sitz im Leben into biblical studies, which, in turn, was noted by scholars in other fields. An appendix to the volume reports relational approaches in several disciplines that provide a stimulus for relational form criticism.

Subjects: Methods, Historical Approaches, History, Form, Tradition and Redaction Criticism

Login to Read the Review(s)

You must be a member of SBL to read the review(s). In May 2019, SBL improved security of its main site with a new login procedure that requires an email address and a password, instead of an SBL member number. RBLís login procedure is now synched to SBLís. Please use your email address and SBL password to log in to RBL. Your use of this site indicates your acceptance of RBLís Terms of Use.

I donít remember my SBL password.

Join SBL or renew your membership to read the review(s).

Email Address
SBL Password

Review by Colin Toffelmire
Published 8/7/2012
Citation: Colin Toffelmire, review of Martin J. Buss,The Changing Shape of Form Criticism: A Relational Approach, Review of Biblical Literature [] (2012).

Adobe Acrobat Reader
All RBL reviews are published in PDF format. To view these reviews, you must have downloaded and installed the FREE version of Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you do not have the Reader or you have an older version of the Reader, you can download the most recent version now.


Privacy PolicyTerms of UseContact Us