In recent years biblical scholars and students have become increasingly interested in studying retellings of biblical stories in the arts, not only for their relation to the biblical text but also for the ‘story’ they have to tell (or, if they are not strictly ‘retellings’, for the light they might shed on the biblical text). The eight lively contributions to this volume illustrate a range of exciting approaches to retellings of the Bible in literature, music, art and film and reveal something of the scope of this fascinating and rapidly expanding area of inquiry.
The present collection of essays appears concurrently in a special issue of the journal Biblical Interpretation. Since it was founded in 1993, Biblical Interpretation has played a key role in fostering the publication of articles in the newly developing area of the reception history of the Bible in the arts.
J. Cheryl Exum is Professor of Biblical Studies at the University of Sheffield and Executive Editor of
Biblical Interpretation. She is the author of numerous books and articles on the Hebrew Bible, most recently
Song of Songs, A Commentary.
PART ONE The Bible in Literature
Noah’s Ark and Mrs. Monkey
Jephthah’s Daughter as Object of Desire or Feminist Icon
Latecomers: Four Novelists Rewrite the Bible
PART TWOThe Bible in Music
Eroticism, Death and Redemption: The Operatic Construct of the Biblical “Femme fatale”
Re-visioning a Biblical Story through Libretto and Music: “Debora e Jaele” by Ildebrando Pizzetti
Oratorio as Exegesis: The Use of the Book of Isaiah in Handel’s Messiah
PART THREE The Bible in Art and Film
‘The Bosom of Abraham’ (Luke 16:22): Father Abraham in the Visual Imagination
Eric S. Christianson
The Big Sleep: Strategic Ambiguity in Judges 4-5 and in Classic
All those interested in the reception history of the Bible in literature, music, art and film