Sense and Stigma in the Gospels: Depictions of Sensory-Disabled Characters

Paperback | November 17, 2013

byLouise J. Lawrence

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The senses are used within New Testament texts as instruments of knowledge and power and thus constitute important mediators of cultural knowledge and experience. Likewise, those instances where sensory faculty is perceived to be "disabled" in some way also become key sites for ideologicalcommentary and critique. However, often biblical scholarship, itself "disabled" by eye-centric and textocentric "norms", has read sensory-disabled characters as nothing more than inert sites of healing; their agency, including their alternative sensory modes of communication and resistance tooppression, remain largely unaddressed. In response, Louise J. Lawrence seeks to initiate a variety of interdisciplinary dialogues with disability studies and sensory anthropology in a quest to refigure characters with sensory disabilities featured in the gospels and provide alternative interpretations of their conditions and socialinteractions. In each instance the identity of those stigmatised as "other" (according to particular physiological, social and cultural "norms") are recovered by exploring ethnographic accounts which document the stories of those experiencing similar rejection on account of perceived sensory"difference" in diverse cross-cultural settings. Through this process these "disabled" characters are recast as individuals capable of employing certain strategies which destabilize the stigma imposed upon them and tactical performers who can subversively achieve their social goals.

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The senses are used within New Testament texts as instruments of knowledge and power and thus constitute important mediators of cultural knowledge and experience. Likewise, those instances where sensory faculty is perceived to be "disabled" in some way also become key sites for ideologicalcommentary and critique. However, often biblica...

Louise J. Lawrence is Senior Lecturer in New Testament Studies at the University of Exeter.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:208 pages, 7.99 × 5.31 × 0.01 inPublished:November 17, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199590095

ISBN - 13:9780199590094

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Sense and Stigma1. Looking Through a Glass Darkly: Sensing Disabilities of Biblical Studies2. Blind Spots and Metaphors: Refiguring Sightless Characters in the Gospels3. Sounding Out a deaf mute: Mark 7:31 37 as Deaf World Performance4. The Stench of Untouchability: Sensory Tactics of a Leper, Legion and Leaky Woman5. Sense, Seizure and Illness Narratives: The Case of an Epileptic / Demon-Possessed BoyConclusion: Sensory-Disabled Characters Refiguring GodBibliography