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This book offers an original and provocative reading of the book of Job, shifting attention away from what is most often seen as the burden of the book - the problem of evil or unjust suffering - and arguing that its central concern is the question of obedience, sanctification or transformation of self before God. This shift in emphasis was outlined in one of the most significant theological interpretations of Job in the 20th Century, that of Karl Barth. Ticciati brings Barth's theological commentary into engagement with a wide range of current critical work on Job, allowing the divergence between these approaches to stimulate critique and enrichment on both sides. The theological concentration of Barth's commentary is broadened by a psychological and philosophical reading of the text, and by a literary, philological and historical-critical inquiry that sets Job firmly in its biblical context. This interdisciplinary approach finds its focus in an emergent understanding of Job's self, which is at once biblical, psychological, philosophical, historical and theological.
Reading beyond Barth, Ticciati provides a thoroughgoing reappraisal of the notion of obedience - or, in Joban terms, of what it means to "fear God for naught." This book will appeal not only to systematic theologians seeking to re-engage with Scripture, and biblical scholars desiring to re-engage with the theology of the Bible, but also to those from other disciplines concerned about the increasingly fragmentary nature of academic research and its concomitant evasion of questions of wider and more fundamental concern.
Dr. Susannah Ticciati is the Centenary Research Fellow at Selwyn College, Cambridge, appointed in 2004 as Lecturer in Systematic Theology at King's College London. She is an active member of the Society for Scriptural Reasoning.