There is at present a stream of good and interesting books on the Hebrew Bible’s King David, written by first-rate scholars. These books variously address historical and sociological questions concerning the rise of the monarchy in ancient Israel, but they tend to find most interesting the artistic offer of the narrative presentation.
Enrique Dussel’s Ethics of Liberation might well seem too theoretical and too filled with jargon to merit attention in these pages. But it is the most compelling articulation we have of the map of power and powerlessness in which we live our lives. It is sweepingly comprehensive, a tsunami of thought.
Perhaps the best entry point into The Scandal of Having Something to Say is the word postliberal in the subtitle, which requires that we consider the term liberal, to which this perspective is “post.” The term liberal most comprehensively relates to Enlightenment rationality, which posits an autonomous self which can arrive at a one-dimensional certitude.
Douglas Hall is likely the most influential North American theological interpreter from a Reformation perspective, especially with reference to Luther. He continues to filter his thought through his teachers Tillich and Niebuhr—but he is his own man and carries his inquiry toward the demise of Christendom.
As long ago as 1996, Jon Levenson wrote an important article, “The Universal Horizon of Biblical Particularism.” In that piece he reflected on the way in which the Hebrew Bible adjudicated the particularity of Israel and a reach beyond Israel to the nations.
In The Clash Within, Martha Nussbaum explored the capacity to entertain the other as key to a democratic society. Now she considers angry resistance to the other, bringing her usual erudite analysis and intense moral passion.
They Cried to the Lord: The Form and Theology of Biblical Prayer, by Patrick D. Miller (Fortress). Though billed as a study of biblical prayer, this is the most helpful and comprehensive study of the Psalms we have that moves from critical data to acute theological sensibility.
Lately there has been a surge of studies variously construed as focused on "religion and violence," "the Bible and violence" or "God and violence." Most of these studies are not very helpful, for they dismiss the shrill reality of violence in facile ways.