Psychological Biblical Criticism

Article excerpt

Psychological Biblical Criticism by D. Andrew Kille Guides to Biblical Scholarship. Old Testament Series. Fortress, Minneapolis, 2001. 161 pp. $21.00. ISBN 0-- 8006-3246-X.

THIS BOOK INTRODUCES the emerging discipline of psychologically oriented biblical criticism to working exegetes. A brief theoretical discussion sets out criteria for evaluating the adequacy of any psychologically-based approach to reading a biblical text. Kille applies these criteria to studies on Genesis 3. These are divided into Freudian, Jungian, and "developmental" approaches, each given a separate chapter. A glossary of technical terms and a useful bibliography complete the book.

One of the major strengths of this volume is its textual focus, but this also results in limitations. The choice of text determines the variety of approaches considered. Genesis 3 lends itself to analyses influenced by depth psychology. Other texts might be addressed by different theories: psychologies of grief and loss in Lamentations, or learning theory in Proverbs. Even some depth psychologies useful in biblical interpretation, e. …