Subverting Scriptures: Critical Reflections on the Use of the Bible

Hardcover | September 15, 2009

EditorBeth Hawkins Benedix

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Focusing on writers who approach the Bible as a source that is both instructive and dangerous, Subverting Scriptures seeks to provide an academic analysis of cultural biblical saturation at a time when measured voices are necessary to counterbalance politically motivated religious rhetoric. Using as its point of departure the current political landscape – where the Bible is drawn on freely and unabashedly without critical reflection to legitimate and justify all manner of agendas – the contributors in this collection engage the Bible in new, imaginative, and critical ways, in the hopes of creating a new space for dialogue.

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Focusing on writers who approach the Bible as a source that is both instructive and dangerous, Subverting Scriptures seeks to provide an academic analysis of cultural biblical saturation at a time when measured voices are necessary to counterbalance politically motivated religious rhetoric. Using as its point of departure the current p...

Beth Hawkins Benedix is Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Literature at DePauw University. She is the author of Reluctant Theologians: Franz Kafka, Paul Celan, Edmond Jabès (2003) and has contributed chapters to collections such as Chasing Esther: Jewish Expressions of Cultural Difference; Toni Morrison and the Bible:  Cont...

other books by Beth Hawkins Benedix

Format:HardcoverDimensions:256 pages, 8.32 × 5.72 × 0.73 inPublished:September 15, 2009Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230610692

ISBN - 13:9780230610699

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Table of Contents

PART I: SETTING THE STAGE: WHAT IS SUBVERSIVE SCRIPTURE? * Jay Twomey / Walking the (Damascus Road) line: The Irony of Appropriation in Johnny Cash’s Man in White * Lesleigh Cushing Stahlberg / Refuse, Realism, and Retelling: Literal and Literary Takes on Noah’s Ark * PART II: BETWEEN SPEECH AND SILENCE * John Roth / Face to Face: Biblical Traces in the Philosophy of Elie Wiesel * John Felstiner / Mother Tongue, Holy Tongue: On Translating and Not Translating Paul Celan * PART III: REVOLUTION, REBELLION, LIBERATION * Qiuyi Tan / Literary Hijackings: Between the Book of Isaiah and The Handmaid’s Tale * Anna Hartnell / Exodus and redemption in Toni Morrison’s Paradise: a magical encounter with the Bible * Ellin Jimmerson / In the Beginning—Big Bang: The Issue of Violence in Ernesto Cardenal’s Cosmic Canticle * PART IV: VIOLENCE, POWER, PROPHECY * Beth Hawkins Benedix / Babel Revisited:  Kafka and Pinter Critique the Covenant * Ranen Omer-Sherman / Masters, Slaves, and the Implacable Deity of the Wilderness in Simone Zelitch’s Moses in  Sinai * David Hall / The Modern Day Followers of the Lamb: The Rhetoric of Suffering and the Politics of Identity in The Left Behind Series * Shaul Magid / Subversion as Return: Scripture, Dissent, and Renewal in Contemporary Judaism

Editorial Reviews

“This provides a new and convincing account of the strategic reception of the Bible in a wide range of writers and thinkers. That such a use can be truly subversive; that it can undermine the very meaning attached to biblical narratives by organized religion, is one of the surprising and exciting discoveries of this readable and intelligent book.”--Sander L. Gilman, Distinguished Professor of the Liberal Arts and Sciences, Emory University“This collection provides a wonderful array of essays attuned to the manifold literary and political uses and abuses of scripture in the contemporary world. The contributors show both the need to subvert the presumptions of scripture to overreach its historical contexts and scripture's power to remain a source of critique of the hubristic pretentions of secular culture…This collection is full of surprising treasures that serve to open new paths in the study of the relation between the Bible and postmodern culture.”--Steven Kepnes, Murray W. and Mildred K. Finard Professor in Jewish Studies and Religion, Colgate University "This could not be more timely or more crucial; in a period where we are ever more conscious of the effect of the appropriation, manipulation, subversion, or reinterpretation of canonical religious texts for at times bewildering variety of purposes, any attempt to examine the phenomenon is highly welcome...The 'subversive' literary works covered in the contributors' selections constitute a dazzling array of choices. They provide ample proof of the book's value as a vital way of thinking about international literary culture. This has the potential to be a frequently consulted and often thumbed anthology of secondary literature that creatively rediscovers a perennially absorbing topic."--Jeremy Dauber, Associate Professor of Yiddish Language, Literature and Culture, Columbia University