Dialogue on Monarchy in the Gideon-Abimelech Narrative

Ideological Reading in Light of Bakhtin’s Dialogism


In Dialogue on Monarchy in the Gideon-Abimelech Narrative, Albert Sui Hung Lee applies Bakhtin’s dialogism to interpret the “unfinalized” dialogue on monarchical ideologies in the Gideon–Abimelech narrative. Lee associates a wide scope of Bakhtinian concepts with the dual images of the protagonists and the unique literary features of the dialogical narrative to illustrate the dialogue of genres as well as that of ideological voices, wherein the pro- and anti-monarchical voices constantly interact with each other. Studying archaeological evidence and literary examinations of prophetic books together, Lee explores the narrative redactor’s intention of engaging both remnant and deportee communities in an unfinalized dialogue of different forms of polity for the restoration of their unity and prosperity in exilic and post-exilic contexts.

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Albert Sui Hung Lee, PhD, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, is an Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies at Evangel Seminary and Board Member of Tao Fong Shan Christian Centre. Since 2015, he has presented seven papers at SBL Annual Meetings.

1 Introduction
 1.1 Prolegomenon: A Text of Ideological Tensions
 1.2 The Purpose of the Present Study
 1.3 Outline of the Book

2 From Ideological Tension to Dialogism
 2.1 History of Interpretations concerning the Ideological Attitudes toward Monarchy
 2.2 Integration of Scholarly Approaches
 2.3 Mikhail Bakhtin’s Dialogism
 2.4 An Approach Derived from the Unfinalized Dialogue of Scholarship

3 Ideological Dialogue in the Gideon Narrative
 3.1 Literary Style of Pairs: Twoness versus Oneness
 3.2 Coauthoring of Gideon’s Double Images
 3.3 The Monarchical Portrait of Gideon
 3.4 Dialogical Ideologies on Monarchy in the Gideon Narrative

4 Ideological Dialogue in the Gideon Narrative
 4.1 Literary Pairs of Twoness
 4.2 Coauthoring of Abimelech’s Double Images
 4.3 Dialogue between Genres
 4.4 Dialogical Ideologies on Monarchy in the Abimelech Narrative

5 A Possible Historical Context of the Dialogue in the Gideon–Abimelech Narrative
 5.1 Dating of the Gideon–Abimelech Narrative
 5.2 The Two Communities in the Exilic Period and the Early Persian Period
 5.3 The Ideological Dialogue from the Exile to the Early Persian Rule

6 Conclusion
 6.1 The Summaries of the Preceding Chapters
 6.2 The Possible Impacts of the Historical Context on the Final Redactor
 6.3 Insights and Opportunities Derived from This Study


All interested in ideological interpretations of biblical narratives and the application of Bakhtin’s theories and those concerned with the political ideologies of Jewish communities in the exilic and post-exilic periods.
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