Fortress Press

Reading Scripture as a Political Act: Essays on the Theopolitical Interpretation of the Bible

Reading Scripture as a Political Act

Essays on the Theopolitical Interpretation of the Bible

Matthew A. Tapie (Editor), Daniel Wade McClain (Editor)


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This volume explores the political character of premodern and modern readings of scripture with attention to how these relate to or address political challenges in social and historical contexts. Essays here also offer constructive models of reading scripture that can inform the contemporary task of political scriptural interpretation. From the earliest Christian centuries to the present day, this volume considers the close coordination between scripture, theology, and social and political concerns, providing a robust survey of Christian theopolitical scripture interpretation.

  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9781451479638
  • eBook ISBN 9781506401492
  • Dimensions 6 x 9
  • Pages 334
  • Publication Date November 1, 2015



"Bringing together the concerns of political theology and historical patterns of the interpretation of scripture is a great idea. The essays here present a dizzying array of questions and possibilities. But some of the performances—ancient and modern—are also dazzling, and this collection takes an important initiative toward a new kind of conversation."

Daniel J. Treier | Wheaton College

"Tapie and McClain have put together a fascinating collection of essays that span the ages from the ancient to the postmodern, thus showing that the political is a perennial theme. The essays are steeped in both political theology and the theological interpretation of scripture, and bring the two fields—largely separated until now—into fruitful conversation. As a whole, the volume addresses not only the question of how scripture can be read politically, but what politics are necessary to enact scripture well."

William T. Cavanaugh | DePaul University

"With a breadth of scope that is ambitious and fruitful, this volume makes a significant contribution to cross-disciplinary engagement with the political. Seeking to link the rich conversations of political theology and scriptural imagination, Tapie and McClain have gathered essays that display a path forward by attending closely to the history of biblical interpretation as a political act within the church. In these essays, Scripture, theology, and the social body cross-fertilize to produce a multifaceted but cohesive text that will be appreciated by both biblical scholars and theologians alike."

Scott Bader-Saye | Seminary of the Southwest