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Intertextuality in Biblical Studies: A Core Bibliography

Posted in Influence, Intertextuality, Poststructuralism, Theory by Joseph Kelly on October 28, 2013

Writing an “intertextual” analysis or using the “method of intertextuality” has become a veritable rite of passage for scholars in biblical studies, as though this were a well established critical practice in our discipline. Unfortunately this is not the case, and those who use the term are entering, often unwittingly, into an academic battleground for which they are ill equipped. Intertextuality is a contested term, and those who use it would do well to understand the nature of the controversy at hand. The literature on this subject is vast, spanning countless works in literary theory and biblical studies. Below, I have compiled a core bibliography that represents essential studies within the two fields.

Those whose interests concern literary allusions would do well to avoid the language of intertextuality altogether and focus on the more relevant theoretical literature.

Literary Theory

Saussure, F. de. “Nature of the Linguistic Sign,” and “Immutability and Mutability of the Sign.” In Course in General Linguistics. Translated by W. Baskin. 65-70, 71-78.  New York: Philosophical Library, 1959.

Bakhtin, M. M. “Discourse in the Novel.” In The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays. Edited by M. Holquist. Translated by C. Emerson and M. Holquist. 259-422. University of Texas Press Slavic Series 1. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1981.

Kristeva, J. “The Bounded Text,” and “Word, Dialogue, and Novel.” In Desire in Language: A Semiotic Approach to Literature and Art, edited by L. S. Roudiez, translated by T. Gora, A. Jardine, and L. S. Roudiez, 36–63, 64-91. New York: Columbia University Press, 1980.

———. Revolution in Poetic Language. Translated by M. Walker. New York: Columbia University Press, 1984, 59-60.

Barthes, R. “The Death of the Author.” In Image, Music, Text, translated by S. Heath, 142–48. New York: Hill and Wang, 1977.

Culler, J. “Presupposition and Intertextuality.” Modern Language Notes 91 (1976): 1380–96, reprinted in The Pursuit of Signs: Semiotics, Literature, Deconstruction, 100–18. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1981.

Clayton, J., and E. Rothstein. “Figures in the Corpus: Theories of Influence and Intertextuality.” In Influence and Intertextuality in Literary History, 3–36. Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press, 1991.

Biblical Studies

van Wolde, E. “Trendy Intertextuality?” In Intertextuality in Biblical Writings: Essays in Honour of Bas van Iersel, edited by S. Draisma, 43–49. Kampen: Kok, 1989.

Hatina, T. R. “Intertextuality and Historical Criticism in New Testament Studies: Is There a Relationship.” Biblical Interpretation 7, no. 1 (1999): 28–43.

Tull, P. K. “Intertextuality and the Hebrew Scriptures.” Currents in Research: Biblical Studies 8, no. 1 (2000): 59–90.

Miller, G. D. “Intertextuality in Old Testament Research.” Currents in Biblical Research 9, no. 3 (2010): 283–309.

Moore, S. D., and Y. Sherwood. The Invention of the Biblical Scholar: A Critical Manifesto. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2011.

Barton, J. “Déjà Lu: Intertextuality, Method or Theory?” In Reading Job Intertextually, edited by K. Dell and W. Kynes. Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies 574. New York: T & T Clark, 2013.

3 Responses

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  1. Deane said, on October 29, 2013 at 10:38 am

    Is that it?

    • Joseph Kelly said, on October 29, 2013 at 10:53 am

      Given the voluminous literature on the subject, this bibliography is brutally short. If you read this literature, you do not become an expert in “intertextuality.” You will merely be acquainted with the nature of the discussion, and you will be better equipped to determine if your interests are best framed by “intertextuality.” Too many people publish “intertextual” studies when they should be using different terms and categories.

  2. […] Joseph Kelly posted a “core bibliography” for understanding “intertextuality in biblical studies.” Hint: it’s a theory, not a method. Joseph states, […]


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