There is a growing recognition of the importance of investigating the reception history (or afterlives') of biblical texts. How people have interpreted and been influenced by the Bible is often as interesting and historically important as what the text may have originally meant. Reception history is interdisciplinary by nature, examining material from a wide variety of contexts and media, and incorporating readings outside the academy, from both church and culture. This is a distinctive feature, broadening the horizons of material traditionally classed as biblical interpretation'. So artists, writers and composers are included as biblical interpreters alongside the academic and the religious believer.
The present volume aims to contribute to this broad field of interest by focusing on the theme of the reception history of the passion narratives. The contributors highlight the varying cultural contexts of differing biblical interpretations of the Passion narratives, ranging from Christian Cannibalism and Human(e) Sacrifice: The Passion and the Conversion of the Aztecs' (Prof. Lara, Yale University) to Emblem and Irony: Passion Narrative in Post-Reformation Hymnody' (Prof. Watson, Durham University) to The Passion in Early Christian Art (Prof. Robin Jensen, Vanderbilt University). Significant hermeneutical questions are thereby raised about interpretation of the passion narratives.