The Present Status of
Old Testament Theology
"History" above all is a cemetery and field of the dead.
—K. G. Steck
God created man, because he loves stories.
The past is not dead; it is not even past.
— William Faulkner
If thinking wants to think God, then it must endeavor to tell
There is no power relation without the correlative constitu-
tion of a field of knowledge, nor any knowledge that does
not presuppose and constitute at the same time power
THESE QUOTATIONS, THE FIRST FOUR OF WHICH I USED TO INTROduce my earlier book, The Collapse of History, provide a variety of apt metaphors for the current state of Old Testament theology. These and many others, rich with evocative and compelling insight, lead us into the intellectual and imaginative travels of the human spirit into a past that has long since disappeared, save for the texts produced by its savants, artists, and dreamers.1 We have been discomfited by the lost of paradigms
1. Important surveys of Old Testament theology include Barr, The Concept of Biblical
Theology; Bruce, "The Theology and Interpretation of the Old Testament"; J. Collins, "Is a