The Responsive Self
Personal Religion in Biblical Literature of the Neo-Babylonian and Persian Periods
Imprint: Yale University Press
The Responsive Self studies a variety of phenomena, including the use of first-person speech, seemingly autobiographic forms and orientations, the emphasis on individual responsibility for sin, interest in the emotional dimensions of biblical characters, and descriptions of self-imposed ritual. This set of interests lends itself to exciting approaches in the contemporary study of religion, including the concept of “lived religion,” and involves understanding and describing what people actually do and believe in cultures of religion.
“A comprehensive and important work on personal religion as a dimension of religious life and experience. This book will be well received and become a standard text for any studies of aspects of personal religion in ancient Israel and specifically the Hebrew Bible.”—Patrick D. Miller, Princeton Theological Seminary~Patrick D. Miller
“Susan Niditch brilliantly conceptualizes new avenues into the study of personal religion. She lucidly articulates how the religion of the individual was experienced and portrayed. From self-reflection and representation to how the interiority of the individual is characterized in narrative, ‘lived religion’ has never come more alive!”—Theodore J. Lewis, Johns Hopkins University~Theodore J. Lewis
“In this pivotal and fascinating study, Susan Niditch looks anew at the people of the past to uncover a wealth of evidence attesting to the personalization of religion. For the first time, religiously-engaged selves emerge convincingly from the faceless masses. This book marks a crucial new direction in the trans-disciplinary study of the religious realities of ancient Israelite, Judahite and Jewish groups.”—Francesca Stavrakopoulou, University of Exeter~Francesca Stavrakopoulou
“Susan Niditch, the leading scholar of how the Bible adapts folk literature, here examines how biblical religion gets personal as classic conventions are adapted to express individual sensibilities and concerns. Illuminating readings and insights are elegantly expressed for the benefit of scholar and student alike. A gem.”—Edward L. Greenstein, Bar-Ilan University, Israel~Edward L. Greenstein