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The Bible in History

David W. Kling (Oxford University Press: June 2004), 408 pages.

No one can doubt that the Bible has exerted a tremendous influence on Western civilisation since the dawn of Christianity. But few of us have considered the precise nature of that influence in particular historical contexts. In this book, David Kling traces the fascinating story of how specific biblical texts have at different times emerged to be the inspiration of movements and collective responses that have changed the course of history. Each of the seminal texts Kling considers has been understood very differently (and perhaps more correctly) at different times in history. Each of the historical episodes he examines — from the rise of the Papacy to the emergence of pentecostalism — is evident of the dynamic interplay between scripture and the social and cultural context in which it is interpreted. Kling’s innovative study of this process sheds important new light on the ways in which sacred texts continue to shape our history as well as our lives. ~ Product Description

Table of Contents

    • 1    “Follow me” : Anthony and the rise of monasticism    13
    • 2    “Upon this rock” : Peter and the papacy    45
    • 3    “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth!” : Bernard and the song of songs    83
    • 4    “The righteous will live by faith” : Luther’s search for a gracious God    119
    • 5    “Love your enemies” : anabaptists and the peace tradition    157
    • 6    “Let my people go” : Exodus in the African American experience    193
    • 7    “Filled with the holy spirit” : the roots of pentecostalism    231
    • 8    “One in Christ Jesus” : women’s ministry and ordination    269