Gunkel's innovations in form criticism continue to have a remarkably productive life. The concern of this essay is the way the newer 'literary' (or 'postmodern') approaches to the Bible since the 1970s connect in various ways with Gunkel's own project. In particular, what is most interesting is a certain dialectic: in the process of breaking away from what was seen to be a stale and ossified historical criticism, these newer approaches actually have recovered some of the more literary emphases of Gunkel himself. In order to anchor the essay, I focus on a close reading of two sections of Gunkel's Genesis commentary, namely 'The Artistry of the Legends of Genesis' and his discussion of the 'Paradise Narrative' in Gen 2:4b-3:24.
Hermann Gunkel Revisited: Literatur-und religionsgeschichtliche Studien p. 101-117