The Exile, the Nomad, and the Ghostly: Holocaust Memory and Identities of the Biblical at the Edge of Reception Studies

In: Biblical Interpretation
David Tollerton University of Exeter, UK

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This article considers the relationship between biblical reception studies and Holocaust memory, with particular reference to the construction of a new Holocaust memorial in central London. I suggest that although in the twenty-first century there has been a small but growing body of literature on the interface of Bible and Holocaust memory, this scholarship has been unable to engage with the fullest possibilities of encounter between the two. Amidst plans for the new memorial we see an unconventional kind of reception taking place, one that resonates with Primo Levi’s description of Holocaust witness accounts as ‘stories of a new Bible’. To explore the implications of this phenomenon I turn to Brennan Breed’s recent discussion of the Bible as ‘nomadic text’, proposing that an extended version of his ideas can speak valuably to this context.

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