A Review by Amir Eitan

of Twice Used Songs: Performance Criticism of the Songs of Ancient Israel by Terry and William J. Doan

twice_used_songsFrom the review:

To sum up, this is an important book that paves the way of performance criticism into the study of the Old Testament. Still, in order to understand its innovation, the reader must alter one’s default approach on how texts were used in the ancient world. In other words, one cannot understand the performative nature of the Old Testament without the ability to identify materials with the potential of immediacy, such as those of Twice Used Songs. In this respect, the fact that the authors refer to the performance audience both as readers and as listeners is rather unexpected. Reading is a distant and solitary action that cannot achieve the response a storyteller is hoping for; there is no reading community in the ancient world. Performance criticism offers a paradigmatic shift, and its proponents must insist and maintain that the texts were experienced aurally.

Read the full review.