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The Aesthetics of Violence in the Prophets by
Publication Date: 2010-04-08
This volume explores multiple dimensions of prophetic texts and their violent rhetoric, providing a rich and engaging discussion of violent images not only in prophetic texts and in ancient Near Eastern art but also in modern film and receptions of prophetic texts.The volume addresses questions that are at once ancient and distressingly-modern: What do violent images do to us? Do they encourage violent behavior and/or provide an alternative to actual violence? How do depictions of violence define boundaries between and within communities? What readers can and should readers make of the disturbing rhetoric of violent prophets? Contributors include Corrine Carvahlo, Cynthia Chapman, Chris Franke, Bob Haak, Mary Mills, Julia O'Brien, Kathleen O'Connor, Carolyn Sharp, Yvonne Sherwood, and Daniel Smith-Christopher.
Battered Love by
Publication Date: 1995-11-30
Weems's pioneering study explores the puzzling ways in which the Hebrew prophets' portrayals of divine love, compassion, and conventional commitment often became associated with battery, infidelity, and the rape and mutilation of women. She wrestles with the prophets' rhetoric and sexual metaphors to uncover Israelite social structures, asking, "What is implied about women, men, and God by the language that the prophets use to describe the covenant between Yahweh and Israel?" This provocative work by a leading African American biblical scholar delves deeply into issues of intimacy and power, violence and control, seduction and betrayal, and is a searing indictment of the axial points of Israelite religion—its covenantal and prophetic traditions—and their authority today.
Dark God by
Publication Date: 2013-05-01
The God of the Old Testament can shock readers of the Bible: he drowns his creation in the flood, requires Abraham to sacrifice his son, destroys the first-born of the Egyptians the night before the exodus, and ruthlessly eliminates the Israelites who were devoted to the worship of the golden calf. Throughout the centuries, many Christians and philosophers have rejected all or part of the Old Testament because of these divine characteristics that violently contrast with the image of the good and kind God of the New Testament. So can we believe in a God who is macho, cruel, despotic, or who even indulges in ethnic cleansing? Thomas Römer puts forward a reinterpretation of these difficult passages in the light of the most recent research into the Old Testament. For the author, the characteristics that God appears to have, and that at first seem repulsive, are aimed at preserving the faith from dogmatic complacency by instilling in mankind the unexpected vision of a God who is engaged with the real life of humanity. This work is a widely revised and augmented reissue of the older version that was published in 1996. It includes a new chapter: Is God sanctimonious and are human beings sinners? Book jacket.
Joshua and the Rhetoric of Violence by
Publication Date: 1996-09-01
'Joshua and the Rhetoric of Violence' examines the book of Joshua as a construction of national identity. This pioneering New Historicist analysis shows how the Deuteronomist used war oracle language and epic historical lore to negotiate sociopolitical boundaries. It asserts that text and context interacted in a programme consolidating King Josiah's authority in the wake of Assyrian imperial collapse. The book argues that the conquest narrative is not simple 'us against them' propaganda but a complex web of negotiations defining identity and otherness. The analysis draws on Foucault's principle that power is something exercised rather than merely possessed.
Ritual Violence in the Hebrew Bible by
Publication Date: 2015-12-01
Although the relationship of the Hebrew Bible and violence has been of interest to scholars in recent years, ritual violence in its various manifestations has been underexplored, as have the theoretical dimensions of ritual violence. This volume is intended to bring into relief the full rangeof violent rites represented in the Hebrew Bible, many rarely, if ever, considered. It seeks to explore what acts of ritual violence might accomplish socio-politically in their particular settings and the ways in which engagement with theory from a variety of disciplines can contribute to ourunderstanding of ritual violence as a phenomenon.The volume consists of an introduction and eight essays. Topics include cognitive perspectives on iconoclasm, the instrumental dimensions of ritual violence against corpses, the ritual killing of cities ("urbicide"), royal rites of military loyalty, the ends accomplished by political violence inDavid's story, comparison of the Rwanda genocide and material dimensions of the biblical herem, the exchange of women among men and its violent dimensions, and the ritual assault on cities. Authors include Debra Scoggins Ballentine, T. M. Lemos, Mark Leuchter, Nathaniel B. Levtow, Susan Niditch,Saul M. Olyan, Rudiger Schmitt, and Jacob L. Wright.
Texts after Terror by
Publication Date: 2021-05-07
Texts after Terror offers an important new theory of rape and sexual violence in the Hebrew Bible. While the Bible is filled with stories of rape, scholarly approaches to sexual violence in the scriptures remain exhausted, dated, and in some cases even un-feminist, lagging far behind contemporary discourse about sexual violence and rape culture. Graybill responds to this disconnect by engaging contemporary conversations about rape culture, sexual violence, and #MeToo, arguing that rape and sexual violence - both in the Bible and in contemporary culture - are frequently fuzzy, messy, and icky, and that we need to take these features seriously. Texts after Terror offers a new framework informed by contemporary conversations about sexual violence, writings by victims and survivors, and feminist, queer, and affect theory. In addition, Graybill offers significant new readings of biblical rape stories, including Dinah (Gen. 34), Tamar (2 Sam. 13), Bathsheba (2 Sam. 11), Hagar (Gen. 16), Daughter Zion (Lam. 1-2), and the unnamed woman known as the Levite's concubine (Judges 19). Texts after Terror urges feminist biblical scholars and readers of all sorts to take seriously sexual violence and rape, while also holding space for new ways of reading these texts that go beyond terror, considering what might come after.
Violence, Otherness and Identity in Isaiah 63:1-6 by
Publication Date: 2018-09-20
Violence disturbs. And violent depictions, when encountered in the biblical texts, are all the more disconcerting. Isaiah 63-1-6 is an illustrative instance. The prophetic text presents the "Arriving One" in gory details ('trampling down people'; 'pouring out their lifeblood' v.6). Further, the introductory note that the Arriving One is coming from Edom (cf. v.1) may suggest Israel 's unrelenting animosity towards Edom. These two themes- the "gory depiction" and "coming from Edom" are addressed in this book. Irudayaraj uses a social identity reading to show how Edom is consistently pictured as Israel's proximate and yet 'other'-ed entity. Approaching Edom as such thus helps situate the animosity within a larger prophetic vision of identity construction in the postexilic Third Isaian context. By adopting an iconographic reading of Isaiah 63-1-6, Irudayaraj shows how the prophetic portrayal of the 'Arriving One' in descriptions where it is clear that the 'Arriving One' is a marginalised identity correlates with the experiences of the "stooped" exiles (cf 51-14). He also demonstrates that the text leaves behind emphatic affirmations ('mighty' and 'splendidly robed' cf. v.1; alone cf. v.3), by which the relegated voice of the divine reasserts itself. It is in this divine reassertion that the hope of the Isaian community 's reclamation of its own identity rests.
Violence in Scripture by
Publication Date: 2013-09-02
The Bible frequently depicts God as angry and violent, and also sometimes depicts human violence as positive or even as commanded by God. This forms one of the most vexing problems in approaching Scripture and in interpreting the Bible for preaching and teaching today. In this volume, Creach first examines the theological problems of violence and categorizes the types of violence that appear in scripture. Then, he wrestles with the most important biblical texts on violence to work through specific interpretational issues. This new volume in the Interpretation: Resources for Use of Scripture in the Church series will help preachers and pastors interpret those difficult texts, encouraging them to face violence in the Bible with honesty.
War in the Hebrew Bible by
Dealing with a wide spectrum of war ideologies in the Hebrew Bible, this study seeks to discover why and how these views might have made sense to biblical writers. It challenges the stereotype of the violent Old Testament.