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Performing Masculinity in the Hebrew Bible

Published: Oct 2020
£65.00
In Performing Masculinity, the eminent Bulgarian literary critic Milena Kirova turns her attention to the Hebrew Bible, offering a reworking and condensation of two volumes of essays she published in Bulgarian in 2011 and 2017. Her chapters, each with an attractive and stimulating title, present a distinctive voice in current debates about masculinity in the Hebrew Bible. Masculinity studies have been developing during the last half a century, but there is still some opposition, not always conscious, to the field. Studies in masculinity in the Bible have an even shorter history and have created as yet little by way of a tradition among biblical scholars: it is a field still under development. Kirova has researched a rich variety of narrative situations, poetic characteristics, and symbolic functions of biblical men. Her research here is especially focused on the regal roles ascribed to masculinity in the ancient world. Among the intriguing questions Kirova poses are these: Why should heroes be beautiful? What is the benefit of weeping, and weeping eloquently? Why problematize what is 'natural'? Who is the 'bramble king'? The ten chapters of Performing Masculinity are deliberately interdisciplinary: anthropology, psychoanalysis, literary and gender studies complement biblical criticism. A variety of audiences will find the book a pleasure and an education.
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Performing Masculinity in the Hebrew Bible

£65.00
In Performing Masculinity, the eminent Bulgarian literary critic Milena Kirova turns her attention to the Hebrew Bible, offering a reworking and condensation of two volumes of essays she published in Bulgarian in 2011 and 2017. Her chapters, each with an attractive and stimulating title, present a distinctive voice in current debates about masculinity in the Hebrew Bible. Masculinity studies have been developing during the last half a century, but there is still some opposition, not always conscious, to the field. Studies in masculinity in the Bible have an even shorter history and have created as yet little by way of a tradition among biblical scholars: it is a field still under development. Kirova has researched a rich variety of narrative situations, poetic characteristics, and symbolic functions of biblical men. Her research here is especially focused on the regal roles ascribed to masculinity in the ancient world. Among the intriguing questions Kirova poses are these: Why should heroes be beautiful? What is the benefit of weeping, and weeping eloquently? Why problematize what is 'natural'? Who is the 'bramble king'? The ten chapters of Performing Masculinity are deliberately interdisciplinary: anthropology, psychoanalysis, literary and gender studies complement biblical criticism. A variety of audiences will find the book a pleasure and an education.
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Writing and Reading to Survive: Biblical and Contemporary Trauma Narratives in Conversation

Published: July 2020
£20.00
Writing and Reading to Survive brings a number of trauma narratives from the Hebrew Bible into conversation with contemporary trauma narratives, exploring how these ancient and modern-day stories mitigate the experiences of pain and suffering in the face of trauma. Focusing on the intersection between trauma and gender, the trauma narratives here include biblical narratives emerging from the cataclysmic events that all but destroyed the people of Judah at the time of the sixth-century bce invasion and exile. They also include examples of 'hidden' or 'common' or 'more mundane quiet' traumas that are reflective of women's experience. In both biblical as well as contemporary trauma narratives, one sees evidence of insidious trauma associated with the systemic violence of a deeply patriarchal society; the secret trauma of reproductive loss that connects with many women's lives both then and now; the ever-present reality of gender-based violence. To read contemporary trauma narratives alongside biblical trauma narratives can have the effect of expanding readers' vision, perhaps introducing them to texts that yield fresh insights into often painful topics associated with women's experience of trauma. Continuing the conversation on the importance of trauma hermeneutics for reading biblical literature, the trauma narratives represented in this monograph serve as a safe haven for those, in past and present contexts, who are reeling from the effects of severe trauma, to voice the unspeakable, and to move towards healing and recovery by writing and reading to survive. Writing and Reading to Survive is the first volume in a new series from Sheffield Phoenix Press, the Trauma Bible.
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Writing and Reading to Survive: Biblical and Contemporary Trauma Narratives in Conversation

£20.00
Writing and Reading to Survive brings a number of trauma narratives from the Hebrew Bible into conversation with contemporary trauma narratives, exploring how these ancient and modern-day stories mitigate the experiences of pain and suffering in the face of trauma. Focusing on the intersection between trauma and gender, the trauma narratives here include biblical narratives emerging from the cataclysmic events that all but destroyed the people of Judah at the time of the sixth-century bce invasion and exile. They also include examples of 'hidden' or 'common' or 'more mundane quiet' traumas that are reflective of women's experience. In both biblical as well as contemporary trauma narratives, one sees evidence of insidious trauma associated with the systemic violence of a deeply patriarchal society; the secret trauma of reproductive loss that connects with many women's lives both then and now; the ever-present reality of gender-based violence. To read contemporary trauma narratives alongside biblical trauma narratives can have the effect of expanding readers' vision, perhaps introducing them to texts that yield fresh insights into often painful topics associated with women's experience of trauma. Continuing the conversation on the importance of trauma hermeneutics for reading biblical literature, the trauma narratives represented in this monograph serve as a safe haven for those, in past and present contexts, who are reeling from the effects of severe trauma, to voice the unspeakable, and to move towards healing and recovery by writing and reading to survive. Writing and Reading to Survive is the first volume in a new series from Sheffield Phoenix Press, the Trauma Bible.
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Borges and the Bible

Published: May 2015
£50.00
Jorge Luis Borges is the darling of authors and critics who were once described as postmodern. Borges's fictions assail the boundaries between text, world and self. In one sense, the fictions are mere rhetorical games, puzzles, or 'tricks', which disrupt communication (and interpretation), but they also suggest —at least to some —metaphysical uncertainties. To read them is as if one read the fictions of Hume or the Buddha. Most of the literary and biblical scholars in this volume pair the Bible and its scholarship with one or more of Borges's short fictions (particularly those first collected in English in Ficciones ), but some venture into Borges's essays, poetry, and his life story (as he and others have told it). As to Bibles, some essayists focus on particular texts from the Hebrew Bible (like Genesis, Samuel, Kings or Job) or the Christian New Testament (like Mark, 2 Corinthians, or Revelation), while others engage traditions of interpretation like Gnosticism, the Kabbalah or academic biblical scholarship. Several focus on canon, translation, the craft of fiction, religion or hermeneutics as a way of thinking about Borges and the Bible. With Borges, interpretation is ubiquitous. Whether consciously fictionalizing or not, all (biblical) interpretation transforms its precursor. All (biblical) interpretation becomes a play with secrecy and revelation. Borgesian Bibles and scholarship are labyrinths, gardens of forking paths, unsettling and distorting mirrors. With Borges, biblical scholars come face to face with their finitude, obsession, fascination, ambivalence, and inevitable heresy vis-à-vis ta biblia.
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Borges and the Bible

£50.00
Jorge Luis Borges is the darling of authors and critics who were once described as postmodern. Borges's fictions assail the boundaries between text, world and self. In one sense, the fictions are mere rhetorical games, puzzles, or 'tricks', which disrupt communication (and interpretation), but they also suggest —at least to some —metaphysical uncertainties. To read them is as if one read the fictions of Hume or the Buddha. Most of the literary and biblical scholars in this volume pair the Bible and its scholarship with one or more of Borges's short fictions (particularly those first collected in English in Ficciones ), but some venture into Borges's essays, poetry, and his life story (as he and others have told it). As to Bibles, some essayists focus on particular texts from the Hebrew Bible (like Genesis, Samuel, Kings or Job) or the Christian New Testament (like Mark, 2 Corinthians, or Revelation), while others engage traditions of interpretation like Gnosticism, the Kabbalah or academic biblical scholarship. Several focus on canon, translation, the craft of fiction, religion or hermeneutics as a way of thinking about Borges and the Bible. With Borges, interpretation is ubiquitous. Whether consciously fictionalizing or not, all (biblical) interpretation transforms its precursor. All (biblical) interpretation becomes a play with secrecy and revelation. Borgesian Bibles and scholarship are labyrinths, gardens of forking paths, unsettling and distorting mirrors. With Borges, biblical scholars come face to face with their finitude, obsession, fascination, ambivalence, and inevitable heresy vis-à-vis ta biblia.
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Preposterous Revelations: Visions of Apocalypse and Martyrdom in Hollywood Cinema 1980-2000

Published: Jan 2012
£50.00
This is an ambitious attempt to produce an interdisciplinary reading of a set of relatively recent Hollywood films that appear to make references to the biblical genre of apocalyptic and associated ideas of Christian martyrdom and eschatology: End of Days , Armageddon , Alien3 , The Rapture , The Seventh Sign . It is a 'preposterous' reading (Mieke Bal's term), reversing a common-sense impulse to view what comes first chronologically (the biblical text) as an unproblematic template rather than as itself the consequence of subsequent, contextualized readings. The cinematic reworkings Copier describes shift our understanding of both texts (biblical and cinematic) and genre. Within this process, the apocalyptic subject —the martyr —adopts variable poses that reflect the effects of this disorienting reversal: across the five films analysed, the martyr moves from identifiably Christian motivations to the representation of patriotic American masculinity, or even to something that, in a contrary sense, powerfully challenges the conventional masculinity of any martyrdom that counts as significant. To achieve a genuine interdisciplinarity, Copier not only avoids reading each film as if it were simply the visual counterpart to a (biblical) narrative, but also analyses in the case of each film what the 'shot list' of a key sequence reveals about the semiotics at work within its construction. Unlike most encounters between religion and film, her film analysis goes far beyond the identification of themes and motifs. Here the author engages with the larger field of film studies, and especially with film as a visual medium.
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Preposterous Revelations: Visions of Apocalypse and Martyrdom in Hollywood Cinema 1980-2000

£50.00
This is an ambitious attempt to produce an interdisciplinary reading of a set of relatively recent Hollywood films that appear to make references to the biblical genre of apocalyptic and associated ideas of Christian martyrdom and eschatology: End of Days , Armageddon , Alien3 , The Rapture , The Seventh Sign . It is a 'preposterous' reading (Mieke Bal's term), reversing a common-sense impulse to view what comes first chronologically (the biblical text) as an unproblematic template rather than as itself the consequence of subsequent, contextualized readings. The cinematic reworkings Copier describes shift our understanding of both texts (biblical and cinematic) and genre. Within this process, the apocalyptic subject —the martyr —adopts variable poses that reflect the effects of this disorienting reversal: across the five films analysed, the martyr moves from identifiably Christian motivations to the representation of patriotic American masculinity, or even to something that, in a contrary sense, powerfully challenges the conventional masculinity of any martyrdom that counts as significant. To achieve a genuine interdisciplinarity, Copier not only avoids reading each film as if it were simply the visual counterpart to a (biblical) narrative, but also analyses in the case of each film what the 'shot list' of a key sequence reveals about the semiotics at work within its construction. Unlike most encounters between religion and film, her film analysis goes far beyond the identification of themes and motifs. Here the author engages with the larger field of film studies, and especially with film as a visual medium.
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Reconfiguring Mark’s Jesus: Narrative Criticism After Poststructuralism

Published: Oct 2011
£60.00
As readers, we are captivated by the resemblance of literary characters to actual persons. But it is precisely this illusion that allows characterization to play host to dominant ideologies of both 'literature' and 'the self'. This is especially true when we confuse narrative figures and historical persons. Over the last thirty years, New Testament narrative criticism has developed into a major methodological approach in Biblical Studies. But for all its ingenuity and promise, it has been reluctant to let go of conventional historical-critical moorings. As a result, one is hard pressed to find any substantive difference between reconstructions of the historical Jesus and narrative-critical readings of the character Jesus. Reconfiguring Mark's Jesus endeavors to reorient and advance narrative criticism by analysing the Gospel of Mark's characterization of the figure of Jesus in relation to three other fundamental aspects of narrative discourse: focalization, dialogue, and plot. This intertextual reading, in which Mark is set alongside two ancient novels — Leucippe and Clitophon and the Life of Aesop —problematizes implicitly modern notions of literary characters as autonomous 'agents', as well as 'naturalizing' treatments of literary characters as historical referents. Highlighting the inherent ambiguity of narrative discourse, particularly with regard to referentiality, human agency, and the complex relationship between literature and history, Reconfiguring Mark's Jesus illustrates the diverse and complex ways that narratives, of necessity, produce fragmented characters that refract the inherent paradoxes of narrative itself and of human subjectivity.
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Reconfiguring Mark’s Jesus: Narrative Criticism After Poststructuralism

£60.00
As readers, we are captivated by the resemblance of literary characters to actual persons. But it is precisely this illusion that allows characterization to play host to dominant ideologies of both 'literature' and 'the self'. This is especially true when we confuse narrative figures and historical persons. Over the last thirty years, New Testament narrative criticism has developed into a major methodological approach in Biblical Studies. But for all its ingenuity and promise, it has been reluctant to let go of conventional historical-critical moorings. As a result, one is hard pressed to find any substantive difference between reconstructions of the historical Jesus and narrative-critical readings of the character Jesus. Reconfiguring Mark's Jesus endeavors to reorient and advance narrative criticism by analysing the Gospel of Mark's characterization of the figure of Jesus in relation to three other fundamental aspects of narrative discourse: focalization, dialogue, and plot. This intertextual reading, in which Mark is set alongside two ancient novels — Leucippe and Clitophon and the Life of Aesop —problematizes implicitly modern notions of literary characters as autonomous 'agents', as well as 'naturalizing' treatments of literary characters as historical referents. Highlighting the inherent ambiguity of narrative discourse, particularly with regard to referentiality, human agency, and the complex relationship between literature and history, Reconfiguring Mark's Jesus illustrates the diverse and complex ways that narratives, of necessity, produce fragmented characters that refract the inherent paradoxes of narrative itself and of human subjectivity.
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Reel Revelations: Apocalypse and Film

Published: Oct 2010
£50.00
In the last decades, writers and directors have increasingly found the Book of Revelation a fitting cinematic muse for an age beset by possibilities of world destruction. Many apocalyptic films stay remarkably close to the idea of apocalypse as a revelation about the future, often quoting or using imagery from Revelation, as well as its Old Testament antecedents in Daniel, Ezekiel, and Isaiah. The apocalyptic paradigm often instigates social criticism. Kim Paffenroth examines how zombie films deploy apocalyptic language and motifs to critique oppressive values in American culture. Lee Quinby shows how Richard Kelly's Southland Tales critiques not only social and economic crises in the USA but also Revelation's depictions of Good versus Evil as absolute oppositions. Frances Flannery points out how Josh Whedon's Serenity deconstructs the apocalypse precisely by using elements of it, depicting humans as their own created monsters. Jon Stone notes how apocalyptic fictions, while presenting nightmare scenarios, are invariably optimistic, with human ingenuity effectively responding to potential disasters. Mary Ann Beavis examines the device of invented scriptures (pseudapocrypha), deployed as a narrative trope for holding back the final cataclysm. John Walliss studies evangelical Christian films that depict how the endtime scenario will unfold, so articulating and even redefining a sense of evangelical identity. Richard Walsh analyses the surreptitious sanctification of empire that occurs in both Revelation and End of Days under the cover of a blatant struggle with another 'evil' empire. Greg Garrett examines how the eschatological figure of 'The Son of Man' is presented in the Matrix trilogy, the Terminator tetralogy, and Signs. Elizabeth Rosen shows how a postmodern apocalyptic trend has been working its way into children's fiction and film such as The Transformers, challenging the traditionally rigid depictions of good and evil found in many children's stories.
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Reel Revelations: Apocalypse and Film

£50.00
In the last decades, writers and directors have increasingly found the Book of Revelation a fitting cinematic muse for an age beset by possibilities of world destruction. Many apocalyptic films stay remarkably close to the idea of apocalypse as a revelation about the future, often quoting or using imagery from Revelation, as well as its Old Testament antecedents in Daniel, Ezekiel, and Isaiah. The apocalyptic paradigm often instigates social criticism. Kim Paffenroth examines how zombie films deploy apocalyptic language and motifs to critique oppressive values in American culture. Lee Quinby shows how Richard Kelly's Southland Tales critiques not only social and economic crises in the USA but also Revelation's depictions of Good versus Evil as absolute oppositions. Frances Flannery points out how Josh Whedon's Serenity deconstructs the apocalypse precisely by using elements of it, depicting humans as their own created monsters. Jon Stone notes how apocalyptic fictions, while presenting nightmare scenarios, are invariably optimistic, with human ingenuity effectively responding to potential disasters. Mary Ann Beavis examines the device of invented scriptures (pseudapocrypha), deployed as a narrative trope for holding back the final cataclysm. John Walliss studies evangelical Christian films that depict how the endtime scenario will unfold, so articulating and even redefining a sense of evangelical identity. Richard Walsh analyses the surreptitious sanctification of empire that occurs in both Revelation and End of Days under the cover of a blatant struggle with another 'evil' empire. Greg Garrett examines how the eschatological figure of 'The Son of Man' is presented in the Matrix trilogy, the Terminator tetralogy, and Signs. Elizabeth Rosen shows how a postmodern apocalyptic trend has been working its way into children's fiction and film such as The Transformers, challenging the traditionally rigid depictions of good and evil found in many children's stories.
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From the Margins 2: Women of the New Testament and Their Afterlives

Published: Oct 2009
£60.00
Despite half a century of biblical interpretation that has sought to put women back on the agenda of ancient texts (written largely if not wholly by men), the dominant threads of narrative and doctrine have —with the notable exception of Mary the mother of Jesus —been focused on the lives and actions of men. Reception history tells a different story. It is not the case that there is a recovery of the lives of women hidden behind the pages of the New Testament, for our information remains as sparse and tantalizing as ever. Rather, the study of biblical women's 'afterlives' allows the imaginative engagement of artists and writers to broaden the horizon of interpretative expectations. Whether it is through historical imagination or the grasp of different portrayals of familiar biblical women (like Mary the mother of Jesus or Mary Magdalene), the creative genius of these interpreters, neglected by mainstream biblical textual scholars, only underlines the importance of the biblical women, viewed in the light of their afterlives. This volume has its origins in a project entitled 'Biblical Women and their Afterlives' conceived and developed by the Centre for Reception History of the Bible at the University of Oxford and organized together with colleagues from the Luce Program in Scripture and Literary Arts at Boston University, USA. This project resulted not only in the present interdisciplinary collection of 21 essays (with their 66 illustrations) but also its companion volume From the Margins 1: Women of the Hebrew Bible and their Afterlives , edited by Peter S. Hawkins and Lesleigh Cushing Stahlberg. The present volume includes the specially commissioned poem 'To Cast a Stone' by the acclaimed Irish poet John F. Deane.
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From the Margins 2: Women of the New Testament and Their Afterlives

£60.00
Despite half a century of biblical interpretation that has sought to put women back on the agenda of ancient texts (written largely if not wholly by men), the dominant threads of narrative and doctrine have —with the notable exception of Mary the mother of Jesus —been focused on the lives and actions of men. Reception history tells a different story. It is not the case that there is a recovery of the lives of women hidden behind the pages of the New Testament, for our information remains as sparse and tantalizing as ever. Rather, the study of biblical women's 'afterlives' allows the imaginative engagement of artists and writers to broaden the horizon of interpretative expectations. Whether it is through historical imagination or the grasp of different portrayals of familiar biblical women (like Mary the mother of Jesus or Mary Magdalene), the creative genius of these interpreters, neglected by mainstream biblical textual scholars, only underlines the importance of the biblical women, viewed in the light of their afterlives. This volume has its origins in a project entitled 'Biblical Women and their Afterlives' conceived and developed by the Centre for Reception History of the Bible at the University of Oxford and organized together with colleagues from the Luce Program in Scripture and Literary Arts at Boston University, USA. This project resulted not only in the present interdisciplinary collection of 21 essays (with their 66 illustrations) but also its companion volume From the Margins 1: Women of the Hebrew Bible and their Afterlives , edited by Peter S. Hawkins and Lesleigh Cushing Stahlberg. The present volume includes the specially commissioned poem 'To Cast a Stone' by the acclaimed Irish poet John F. Deane.
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Performing Memory in Biblical Narrative and Beyond

Published: Oct 2009
£60.00
Memory —'authentic', manufactured, imagined, innocent or deliberate —becomes remembrance through its performance, that is, through being narrated orally or in writing. And when it is narrated, memory becomes a shaper of identities and a social agent, a tool for shaping a community's present and future as much as, if not more so, than a near-simplistic recording of past history and a sense of belonging. In this volume, various aspects of narrated 'memories' in the Bible and beyond it are examined for their literary and sociological charge within biblical literature as well as in its cultural afterlives —Jewish, Christian and 'secular'. From inner-biblical memory shaping claims to contemporaneous retellings, the shifts of tradition to story are explored for ways, means and aims that, authorially intentional or otherwise, become influential in adapting the Bible for the postmodern scene and adapting the postmodern scene to the Bible. This compilation of articles is the result of a collective research project with participants from the University of Amsterdam and Utrecht University (The Netherlands), Tel Aviv University and Haifa University (Israel), Poznan University (Poland), Bowdoin College and Brite Divinity School (USA). This is Volume 3 in the subseries Amsterdam Studies in the Bible and Religion.
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Performing Memory in Biblical Narrative and Beyond

£60.00
Memory —'authentic', manufactured, imagined, innocent or deliberate —becomes remembrance through its performance, that is, through being narrated orally or in writing. And when it is narrated, memory becomes a shaper of identities and a social agent, a tool for shaping a community's present and future as much as, if not more so, than a near-simplistic recording of past history and a sense of belonging. In this volume, various aspects of narrated 'memories' in the Bible and beyond it are examined for their literary and sociological charge within biblical literature as well as in its cultural afterlives —Jewish, Christian and 'secular'. From inner-biblical memory shaping claims to contemporaneous retellings, the shifts of tradition to story are explored for ways, means and aims that, authorially intentional or otherwise, become influential in adapting the Bible for the postmodern scene and adapting the postmodern scene to the Bible. This compilation of articles is the result of a collective research project with participants from the University of Amsterdam and Utrecht University (The Netherlands), Tel Aviv University and Haifa University (Israel), Poznan University (Poland), Bowdoin College and Brite Divinity School (USA). This is Volume 3 in the subseries Amsterdam Studies in the Bible and Religion.
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Genesis, Second Edition

Published: Aug 2009
£15.00£35.00
Working from the conviction that Genesis can be read as a coherent whole, this commentary foregrounds the sophistication of Hebrew narrative art, in particular its depiction of plot and character, and the interpretative possibilities raised by its intertextuality. Apparently simple and independent episodes emerge as complex and interconnected, constantly challenging readers to readjust their assessments of characters and expectations of plot development. Approaching the text predominantly from the perspective of a 'first-time reader', this commentary underscores the narrative's surprises, ironies and innovations.
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Genesis, Second Edition

£15.00£35.00
Working from the conviction that Genesis can be read as a coherent whole, this commentary foregrounds the sophistication of Hebrew narrative art, in particular its depiction of plot and character, and the interpretative possibilities raised by its intertextuality. Apparently simple and independent episodes emerge as complex and interconnected, constantly challenging readers to readjust their assessments of characters and expectations of plot development. Approaching the text predominantly from the perspective of a 'first-time reader', this commentary underscores the narrative's surprises, ironies and innovations.
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