The book Human Choice: Biblical Narrative and the Drama of Choice suggests, in contrast to the dominant position in the field of theology, that humanity and not God stands at the heart of biblical narrative. Underpinning many biblical narratives is a theology that may be termed a “theology of choice”, a theology predicated on the belief that human's central task is to choose between good and evil. Theology of choice leads to biblical narratives' focus on the internal conflicts of characters, their struggles and the choices that they must make. The principle that a person's choices determine one's destiny lies at the foundation of biblical narrative and is one of the basic tenets of Israelite belief. In contrast to the belief in a predetermined destiny characteristic of idolatrous culture as evident in many ancient mythologies as well as Greek tragedy, the outlook underlying many biblical narratives is that a person is a free being and is responsible for one's actions and one's ultimate destiny.The book also argues against the belief that the books of the Bible reflect polarized thinking and a dichotomous worldview. A sophisticated literary analysis treating the different levels of the narrative – the syntagmatic, paradigmatic and dramatic – with a focus on the use of tripartite contrast – a literary device yet to be noticed in biblical research – reveals that the biblical perspectives are not polar in nature, but rather include complexity and a gray zone lying between the dichotomy of black and white. The doubts and wavering of middle-ground characters such as Lot, Saul and Ahab create a drama about choice and infuse the narratives with complexity and interest. Middle-ground characters in biblical narratives represent human complexity, characterized by internal conflict and struggles, and the need to decide between conflicting desires, values and beliefs. This tension creates the biblical drama of choice which focuses on human choice.
|Translated title of the contribution||Human Choice: Biblical narrative and the drama of choice|
|Number of pages||311|
|State||Published - 2015|