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Research at St Andrews

William Arthur Tooman


William Arthur Tooman
Postal address:
School of Divinity
St Mary's College
South Street
St Andrews
United Kingdom


Direct phone: +44 (0)1334 462848

Research overview

I specialize in the literature and thought of the Hebrew Bible and other Second Temple literatures. The object of my research is to recover, as fully as possible, the full spectrum of literary conventions used by ancient Jewish writers and the competencies of ancient Jewish readers (up to circa 250 CE). This aim has descriptive-historical and theoretical-methodological dimensions. In descriptive-historical terms, my goal is to achieve precise descriptions of the structural and compositional features of this body of literature, including consideration of how those features changed through time and validated by attending to empirical evidence of ancient reading and writing practices. In terms of theory and method, my research requires attention to both synchronic and diachronic methodologies (poetics, intertextuality, historical-criticism, textual-criticism, history of interpretation, and cultural history), which must then be adapted in light of and integrated with the descriptive-historical findings.

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