Skip to main content Accessibility help
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 3
  • Print publication year: 1998
  • Online publication date: May 2006

4 - Poststructuralist approaches New Historicism and postmodernism

from Part 1 - Lines of approach


Poststructuralism is a convenient umbrella term for a wide range of different and differing theoretical approaches to architecture; the arts, literature, philosophy, cultural and textual studies characterized, among other things, by its dissent from the search for binary forms and its opposition to criticism and Enlightenment values. If structuralism had sought to overcome the text by the use of tightly structured analyses which forced texts to yield up all their secrets to a mathematically inscribed scrutiny, in biblical studies structural analysis quickly gave way to poststructuralist approaches to the text. A new generation of theory-driven scholars emerged after the 1960s determined to read themselves into the text and to construct reading strategies in the discipline of biblical studies which would reflect the points of view of their own reader-response approaches to the biblical text. Rejecting structuralism's obsession with discovering binary oppositions everywhere in the text, poststructuralism emphasized the instability of the signifier, especially in its deconstructive mode.