Ritual, Order and the Construction of an Audience in 1 Enoch 1–36

In: Dead Sea Discoveries
Rodney A. Werline Barton College Wilson, nc

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Drawing on performance theory and ritual theory, this essay argues that the authors of 1 En. 1–36 artfully draw the audience into their imagined world. In chs. 1–5, the text employs a variety of ritualized speech forms from the audience’s habitus in order to tap into and form the members’ dispositions. Once the narrative of the Fall of the Watchers commences, the audience can find its place within the narrative through the ritual actions reported in the text. Thereby, the experience of encountering the text also gives shape to the audience’s lived experiences.

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