Samson: Hero or Fool?

The Many Faces of Samson


Samson is a peculiar character. He is the most powerful of the Israelite judges and three whole chapters in the book of Judges are allocated to him. Yet he demonstrates many weaknesses, not least for the charms of women. In the international conference “Samson: Hero or Fool?” organised at the University of Nijmegen in April, 2008, the texts of Judges 16-18 were studied from different perspectives, investigating how the complex character of this (anti)hero lived on in various ways in the later traditions about him. The contributions discuss also the reception history of the Samson traditions in later Jewish, Christian and Islamic literature, as well as his representation in figurative and performing arts

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Erik Eynikel, STD (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven 1989), Professor for Biblical Languages at the University of Regensburg (Germany) has published on the Deuteronomistic History and Lexicography of the Septuagint. He is the editor of foreign language editions of the International Bible Commentary (University of Dallas)

Tobias Nicklas, Ph.D. (2000), Habilitation (2004), is Chair of New Testament at the Faculty of Theology, University of Regensburg. He has published widely on New Testament and Christian apocryphal texts, New Testament hermeneutics and textual history.
"A substantial resource for deepening our understanding of Judg 13–16 and of the enduring appeal of the enigmatic Samson."
Clinton McCann Jr., Eden Theological Seminary Webster Groves, Missouri, Review of Biblical Literature

"The multifaceted nature of this book helps the reader gain further insights into the biblical text and may inspire continued reflection. Recourse to Hebrew – even when the theme is not exegetical in nature (e.g. Spronk) – attests to the value of interdisciplinary exchange among various areas of study [...] The authors are to be commended for a plethora of insights as an expression of the complexity and curiosity which Samson has evoked over time."
Jacek Stefanski, Wigierski Areopag Nowej Ewangelizacji, The Biblical Annals, Volume 7, Issue 2
Elie Assis, The Structure and Meaning of the Samson Narratives (Jud. 13-16)

J. Cheryl Exum, The Many Faces of Samson

Susanne Gillmayr-Bucher, A hero ensnared in otherness? Literary images of Samson

Lara van der Zee, Samson and Samuel: Two Examples of Leadership

Cornelis Houtman, Who Cut Samson’s Hair? The Interpretation opf Judges 16:19a Reconsidered:

Natalio Fernández Marcos, The Septuagint Reading of Samson Cycle

Ronit Nikolsky, Rabbinic Discourse about Samson. Continuity and change between the Tannaitic Culture to the Amoraic

Tessel M. Jonquière, Of Valour and Strength. The Samson Cycle in Josephus’ work: Jewish Antiquities 5.276-317

Tobias Nicklas, No Simson in the New Testament?

Erik Eynikel, Samson in Islamic literature and in the Old Testament

Kees Wisse, Samson in Music

Karin Schöpflin, Samson in European Literature. Some Examples from English, French and German Poetry

Klaas Spronk, The Looks of a Hero: Some Aspects of Samson in Fine Arts
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