"When on High the Heavens..."
9. Critical Reviews
PremiseEntries in this section give a more extended coverage of a single work or a single author than is possible in the abstracts within the Bibliography. They are in the form of longer essays with critical notes that point to the significance of the work or the author for the central themes of our study of Mesopotamian religion. In the case of a given author, they are synopses that review and critique on a broader basis the work of the author. (See also the subsection on expanded treatments in the introduction.)
An advantage of writing book reviews is that we are induced to read a book from cover to cover - which is often a luxury in our scholarly world today, when we often consult (or "use") more than read. Even greater is the advantage of reviewing the overall work of a colleague, for we are then induced to read into his or her production the intellectual trajectory of a lifetime. And to reflect, in consequence, on what challenges individual scholars can pose to the field as a whole. That is of course the case only when the writings in question are sufficiently provocative to elicit such an impact.