Vernon K. Robbins

Sociorhetorical Interpretation

Emory Studies in Early Christianity

Rhetoric of Religious Antiquity


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Emory Graduate Division of Religion

Vernon K. Robbins
New Boundaries in Old Territory: Form and Social Rhetoric in Mark

Edited and Introduced by David B. Gowler

Additional Reviews:

New Boundaries in Old Territory exhibits a reformulation of the boundaries of New Testament Studies to bring literary, rhetorical, and social science strategies into the center of research and interpretation. These essays display the development of Robbins' groundbreaking Socio-Rhetorical Criticism, which evaluates New Testament texts in their Jewish and Hellenistic-Roman environments. The innovative vision of Socio-Rhetorical Criticism challenges the interpreter to widen the intertextual boundaries to include the Mediterranean world in which early Christians lived, to widen the social and cultural boundaries to include customs, behavior, and attitudes of people in Mediterranean society, and to widen the limiting perspectives of contemporary ideological boundaries. — (back cover)

This collection of essays by Vernon Robbins will provide an invaluable resource to scholars wishing to assess the contribution which Socio-Rhetorical Criticism is currently making to the development of New Testament Studies. It raises important questions about the ways in which literary texts interact with the cultural forms and institutions of their world and offers interesting new perspectives into the Gospels. — John Riches, University of Glasgow

Vernon Robbins has been one of the pioneering voices in Markan studies for the past twenty years. To have most of his important essays on this gospel available in one collection is a real advantage. Even more, he has developed the use of Socio-Rhetorical Criticism as an appropriate method for understanding the gospel in its historical, social, and rhetorical context. This method has become one of the most important and promising, competing for attention today. David Gowler's introduction to Robbins' work is thorough and places it in the broader context of New Testament interpretation. — Bernard Brandon Scott, Phillips Graduate Seminary

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