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Remembering the Unexperienced: Cultural Memory, Canon Consciousness, and the Book of Deuteronomy

CAMPBELL, STEPHEN,DANIEL (2019) Remembering the Unexperienced: Cultural Memory, Canon Consciousness, and the Book of Deuteronomy. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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Author-imposed embargo until 10 May 2021.

Abstract

This dissertation argues that a helpful framework within which to interpret the paraenesis of Deuteronomy 4:1–40 can be constructed through interaction with the cultural memory interests of German Egyptologist Jan Assmann and the canonical approach of U.S. biblical theologian Brevard Childs. By drawing on the resources offered by these two scholars, the received form of the biblical text comes into sharper focus in helpful ways. By bringing Assmann’s cultural memory concerns to bear on the world within the text, Deuteronomy is brought into fruitful contact with questions from the field of sociology; and by asking these questions in interaction with the theologically rich formulation of canon offered by Childs’s canonical approach, Deuteronomy is interpreted as an authoritative witness to God for contemporary communities of faith. As a result of this reading strategy, which highlights certain rhetorical features that shape the theological understanding of the text, the communal and trans-generational nature of covenant stands out. This emphasis, in turn, influences the way that Horeb is remembered by later generations and how that memory is transmitted from one generation to the next through ritual practice and the text of Scripture.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Deuteronomy, Cultural Memory, Canonical Approach, Theological Interpretation of Scripture, Rhetorical Criticism
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Theology and Religion, Department of
Thesis Date:2019
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:17 May 2019 13:29

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