Borderline Exegesis by Leif E. VaageBorderline Exegesis by Leif E. Vaage

Borderline Exegesis

byLeif E. Vaage

Paperback | January 21, 2014

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In Borderline Exegesis, Leif Vaage presents an alternative approach to biblical interpretation, or exegesis—an approach that bends the boundaries of the traditional North American methodology to analyze the meaning of biblical texts for a wider audience. To accomplish this, Vaage engages in a practice he calls “borderline exegesis.” Adapting anthropological notions of borderlands, borderline exegesis writes biblical scholarship peripherally, unearthing the Bible’s textual and discursive borderlands and allowing biblical texts to be at play with the utopian imagination.

The book’s main chapters comprise four case studies that engage in a “divergent reading” of the book of Job, the Gospel of Matthew, the Epistle of James, and the book of Revelation. Informed by the author’s time in war-torn Peru, these chapters take on themes that the poor and disenfranchised have historically claimed—themes of social justice, the legitimacy (or lack thereof) of prevailing social practices, and, most importantly, utopian demand for another possible world. The chapters are held together by the presentation of a greater theoretical framework that provides reflection on the exegetical practices within and confronts biblical scholars with important questions about the aims of the work they do. Taken as a whole, Borderline Exegesis seeks to disclose what the professional practice of textual interpretation might become if we refuse the conventional distances between academic practice and lived experience.

Leif E. Vaage is Associate Professor of the New Testament at Emmanuel College of Victoria University in the University of Toronto.
Title:Borderline ExegesisFormat:PaperbackDimensions:216 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.5 inPublished:January 21, 2014Publisher:Penn State University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0271062886

ISBN - 13:9780271062884


Table of Contents



Note on the Text

Introduction: Another Bible that Is Borderline

1 Into the Whirlwind: God’s Answer to Job’s Complaint

2 The Economy, Stupid! The Teaching of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew

Interlude: Displaced Exegete: A Scriptural Biography

3 Such a Little Thing! The Tongue and Alternate Subjectivity in the Epistle of James

4 Interrupting Hope: The Book of Revelation

Conclusion: After the Bible: Life’s Largesse




Editorial Reviews

“With Borderline Exegesis, Leif Vaage takes us back to where interpretation started, to the encounter between texts and life. Borderline Exegesis is a significant innovation in biblical exegesis in which the distinction between academic reading of texts and the experience of human life disappears, where the questions of the meaning of texts and the meaning of life are one and the same. Based on encounters from his time in Peru, Vaage moves exegesis from the comfort zone of Western exegetes into the experience of human life in extremis, where reading biblical texts by necessity becomes a work of utopian imagination.”—Halvor Moxnes, University of Oslo