There is currently much interest in the history of interpretation, reader-response and the sociology of sacred texts - in what the text does as much as what it means. Isaiah, ‘more evangelist than prophet’ according to Jerome and others, provides an ideal case study, because of his profound influence on the language and imagery of Christianity. With illustrations from art, music, literature and the media as well as commentaries, sermons and official church pronouncements, Professor Sawyer shows how Isaiah has been used in all kinds of context, from the cult of the Virgin Mary, mediaeval passion iconography and antisemitic propaganda to Christian feminism and liberation theology. This first attempt at a comprehensive critical study of an essential part of biblical interpretation will provide a model for further research, and ensure that commentaries will never be the same again.
The Fifth Gospel: Isaiah in the History of Christianity
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