Edited by D. H. Williams and Phillip J. Donnelly
For more than four decades, David Lyle Jeffrey has enriched the world of Christian scholarship. Throughout his work, Jeffrey has drawn attention to the ways in which imaginative engagements with biblical texts have been central to major shifts in Christian and post-Christian hermeneutics, ethics, and aesthetics. The purpose of this volume is to challenge and deepen that growing discourse by showing how English literature across varied traditions unfolds a central Christian interaction between divine Incarnation, invented narrative, and ethical praxis. In their essays, the authors demonstrate how an imaginative engagement with biblical narratives, in historical or contemporary writing, continues to provide a fruitful means to address the intellectual and ethical antinomies of the postmodern scene.
The articles in this collection form two groups: the first set of essays focuses on specific episodes or moments of historical change within European biblical literary traditions; the second group focuses on the dissemination of biblical literary engagements in areas outside of European contexts, ranging from North America to South Africa to China. Unique in the wide range of topics it covers—itself a reflection of Jeffrey’s own broad scope of scholarship—the collection functions as a working example of Jeffrey’s thesis that the biblical tradition has a far-reaching influence on the development of Western literature, even by those who are reluctant to acknowledge its present influence.
Contributors: Theresa Coletti, Dennis Danielson, Phillip J. Donnelly, John V. Fleming, Liu Yi-Qing, Gregory Maillet, Dominic Manganiello, K. Sarah-Jane Murray, Mark A. Noll, Stephen Prickett, Eleonore Stump, Tyler F. Walton, D. H. Williams, Ralph C. Wood, and Yang Huilin.
“David Lyle Jeffrey is a scholar of extraordinary depth and extraordinary breadth. The essays gathered in this collection in his honor do, indeed, pay tribute to his lasting contributions to disparate fields as well as provide further scholarship in areas of significance to him.” — Alan Jacobs, Wheaton College
“The breadth and depth of David Lyle Jeffrey’s work and its consistent engagement with scripture recall that of Erich Auerbach. These essays not only acknowledge and clarify Jeffrey’s achievement but also extend it in their attention to literary, philosophical, and religious works of the West. Given Jeffrey’s trailblazing work, it is especially fitting that the final essays turn to Africa and China. In this way, this excellent volume illumines both past and future. Highly relevant, warmly recommended." — Paul J. Contino, Blanche E. Seaver Professor of Humanities, Pepperdine University
“As D. H. Williams and Phillip J. Donnelly note in the introduction, David Jeffrey is a brilliant polymath with extraordinary erudition. The impressiveness of his scholarly work is outstripped only by his personal qualities as a beloved teacher and mentor to many. This festschrift volume is an appealingly wide-ranging interdisciplinary tribute to David Jeffrey on the topic that integrates his remarkable career: the interpretive reception and literary transformations of biblical texts and tropes in the Western Christian cultural imagination. I heartily recommend this superb book to anyone interested in the interrelations between the Bible, theology, ethics, and literature.” — Travis Kroeker, McMaster University
“This volume honoring Jeffrey on the occasion of his seventieth birthday is concerned with ongoing historical changes in the interpretive reception of biblical texts.” — New Testament Abstracts