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xii + 266 pp.

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Trauma Begets Genealogy
Gender and Memory in Chronicles
Ingeborg Löwisch

Establishing a connection to the past while at the same time releasing us into the present is crucial to recalling a traumatic past. Tapping into the Book of Chronicles’ genealogies as a memory space, Trauma Begets Genealogy facilitates the transformation of the act of looking back into a key for the present. Using a gender studies perspective, it combines a nuanced analysis of the gendered references in 1 Chronicles 1–9 with an interdisciplinary approach that conceptualizes genealogies as memory performances and investigates them in diverse media.

The genealogies of Chronicles are here read by Ingeborg Löwisch alongside the post-Holocaust documentary My Life Part 2, in which Berlin film-maker Angelika Levi performs her ‘gynealogy’ at the intersection of her family archive and of discourses that belong to public memory. While Löwisch’s close reading of the gendered fragments in Chronicles attest to fissures in the patrilinear succession, the parallel perception of the film deepens our understanding of gendered genealogies in response to trauma by contributing a full female lineage.

The resulting reassessment of an obscure set of biblical texts leads into the heart of the genealogical tissue and its fascinating ability to respond to a fractured past.

This is the eighth volume of the Amsterdam Studies in the Bible and Religion (ed. Athalya Brenner), a sub-series of the Bible in the Modern World and of Hebrew Bible Monographs.

Ingeborg Löwisch is a researcher in Hebrew Bible in the University of Utrecht.

Series: Bible in the Modern World, 66
978-1-909697-68-3 hardback
Publication April 2015

1. Conceptualizing Gendered Genealogies as Cultural Recall in the Present
           Cultural Memory as Overall Concept of Memory
           Cultural Memory and Gender
           Cultural Memory: Performance and Activity in the Present
           Narrative Memory versus Traumatic Recall
           Counter-present Memories and Alternative Archives
           Mediation of Memory

2. Socializing Bible Texts and Films: Methodological Considerations
           Hermeneutical Starting Points
           Intertextuality: Potential and Limits of a Key Concept
           Socializing Bible Texts and Films

3. 1 Chronicles 1–9 and its Gendered Fragments
           Genealogy Composition at the Beginning of a Retold Story
           The Late Persian Period Context
           Reading 1 Chronicles 1–9 as an Archive
           Assessment with Regard to the Close Reading

4. Cracks in the Male Mirror: Gendered Fragments as Challenge to the Patriarchal Succession
           Narratives on the Jeopardized Lineage
           Women as Eponymous Ancestors and Heads of Lineages
           Obscured Female Agency in Text-critically Difficult Passages

5. Gynealogy Performance in “My Life Part 2”
            “My Life Part 2” and its Location in Time and Space
           Gynealogy Composition: The Lineage of Levi Women Unfolds
           Discontinuity with and Inscription to the Lineage of Levi Women
           The Political Impact of Mediating Cultural Memory
           Conclusion and Crossover to 1 Chronicles 1–9

6. Structural Functions of Women in the Genealogies of Judah
           Segmentation through Wives
           Segmentation through Wives in the Text Itself
           Women as Subjects of Opening and Closing Formulas
           Sisters and Shaped Gaps
           Patterns of the Genealogical Memory Act

7. From Anachronistic Lists to Meaningful Memory Acts: Looking Back in Order to Look Forward
           Memory Spaces that Comprise Continuity and Discontinuity
           The Politics of Decision-Making
           Play as a Means to Meet the Bony Structure of the Genre
           Metaphors of Relatedness: Kinship, Tree, and Rhizome

The success of Löwisch’s intertextual project hinges on the way she artfully knits together multiple theoretical approaches into an analytical frame .… Using the tools of each discipline, Löwisch’s work is not only innovative and interesting but also deserving of application to other texts. …  Trauma Begets Genealogy ultimately succeeds at what it sets out to do: prove that the gendered genealogy of 1 Chronicles 1-9 is a cultural memory act in response to trauma. Löwisch transforms an otherwise forgotten text into a supremely interesting and persuasive study of the highest quality. Amy Beth W. Jones, Biblical Interpretation.