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date: 16 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines treatments of King David between the Reformation and Pierre Bayle’s Dictionnaire historique et critique, along with the notion of early modernity as a watershed between theist pre-modernity and secular modernity. Exploring the well-worn inner-biblical tropes used for managing the Bible’s own complexity, it takes issue with a Foucauldian concept of critique as encroaching on the biblical from the outside. Effects of secularization arise from strategic rearrangements in traditional scriptural tropes and modes of engagement with the Bible. Paying attention to the ways in which these texts were appropriated in the early modern period, the chapter shows that the project of expanding the centuries-old interpretative machinery of ‘accommodation’ and traditional doctrines of divine judgement and original sin led to novel concepts about the status of the Bible.

Keywords: Pierre Bayle, critique, secularization, Foucault, hermeneutics

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