The Character of David in Judaism, Christianity and Islam

Warrior, Poet, Prophet and King


Volume Editors: and
King David if one of the most central figures in all of the major monotheistic traditions. He generally connotes the heroic past of the (more imagined than real) ancient Israelite empire and is associated with messianic hopes for the future. Nevertheless, his richly ambivalent and fascinating literary portrayal in the Hebrew Bible is one of the most complex of all biblical characters.
This volume aims at taking a new, critical look at the process of biblical creation and subsequent exegetical transformation of the character of David and his attributed literary composition (the Psalms), with particular emphasis put on the multilateral fertilization and cross-cultural interchanges among Jews, Christians and Muslims.

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Marzena Zawanowska, Ph.D. (2008), University of Warsaw (UW) is Assistant Professor at that university (Faculty of History). She has published monographs, translations and scholarly articles chiefly on medieval Karaite Bible exegesis, including The Arabic Translation and Commentary of Yefet ben ʿEli the Karaite on the Abraham Narratives (Genesis 11:10–25:18) (Brill, 2012).
Mateusz Wilk, PhD (2008), École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS) is Assistant Professor at University of Warsaw (Faculty of Arts and Culture). He has published translations and articles chiefly on history and culture of Muslim Spain (al-Andalus). His edition and English translation of Kitāb al-wara῾ of ῾Abd al-Malik b. Ḥabīb (d. 238/853) will soon be published by the University of Cordoba Press.

Contributors are: Łukasz Niesiołowski-Spanò, Sivan Nir, Mateusz Wilk, Yair Zoran, Barbara Gryczan, Marzena Zawanowska, Jerzy Pysiak, Ruth Mazo Karras, Arye Zoref, Miriam Lindgren Hjälm, David Vishanoff, Juan Pedro Monferrer-Sala, Witold Witakowski, Zsuzsanna Olach , Daniel Bodi, Michael Avioz, Diana Lipton, Meira Polliack, Orly Mizrachi, Marianna Klar, Jan Doktór, Ela Lazarewicz-Wyrzykowska, Lena-Sofia Tiemeyer.
List of Illustrations
Notes on Contributors

The Variety of Davids in Monotheistic Traditions 
 An Introduction
Marzena Zawanowska

1 David in History and in the Hebrew Bible
Łukasz Niesiołowski-Spanò

part 1: The Images of David in Medieval Jewish, Muslim and Christian Sources

2 David the Pious Musician in Midrashic Literature and Medieval Muslim Sources
Sivan Nir

3 The Weeping King of Muslim Pietistic Tradition 
 David in the Kitāb al-waraʿ of ʿAbd al-Malik b. Ḥabīb (d. 238/853) and in Earlier Islamic Sources  Mateusz Wilk

4 David and the Temple of Solomon according to the Arabic Commentaries of Yefet ben ʿEli the Karaite on the Books of Kings and Chronicles
Yair Zoran

5 David as Warrior, Leader, and Poet in Medieval Hebrew Poetry of al-Andalus 
 Shmuel ha-Nagid’s Self-Portrait as “The David of His Age”  Barbara Gryczan

6 David in Judah Halevi’s Book of the Kuzari 
 A Reconciliation Project  Marzena Zawanowska

7 Saint Louis as a New David and Paris as a New Jerusalem in Medieval French Hagiographic Literature
Jerzy Pysiak

8 Male Friendship in Medieval Latin Literature 
 David and Jonathan
Ruth Mazo Karras

part 2: The Psalter of David in Monotheistic Traditions

9 David the Prophet in Saʿadya Gaon’s Commentary on Psalms and Its Syriac and Karaite Contexts
Arye Zoref

10 Psalms to Reason, Psalms to Heal 
 The Scriptures in Early Rūm Orthodox Treatises
Miriam Lindgren Hjälm

11 Images of David in Several Muslim Rewritings of the Psalms
David R. Vishanoff

12 David’s Psalter in Christian Arabic Dress 
 ʿAbd Allāh ibn al-Faḍl’s Translation and Commentary
Juan Pedro Monferrer-Sala

13 King David and the Psalter in Ethiopian Cultural Setting
Witold Witakowski

14 David’s Psalms in Eastern European Karaite Literature
Zsuzsanna Olach

part 3: David and His Women: The Cross-Religious Reception Exegesis of the Bathsheba Narrative

15 The Four Wives of David and the Four Women of Odysseus 
 A Comparative Approach
Daniel Bodi

16 Josephus’ Retelling of the David and Bathsheba Narrative
Michael Avioz

17 Our Mother, Our Queen 
 Bathsheba through Early Jewish, Christian and Muslim Eyes
Diana Lipton and Meira Polliack

18 God’s Master Plan 
 The Story of David and Bathsheba in Some Early Syriac Commentaries
Orly Mizrachi

19 Ibn Kaṯīr’s (d. 774/1373) Treatment of the David and Uriah Narrative 
 The Issue of Isrāʾīliyyāt and the Syrian School of Exegesis
Marianna Klar

part 4: Reinventing David in Early Modern and Modern Religious Thought and Literature

20 “David Was Secretly a Woman” 
 King David as a Messianic Topos in the Teaching of Jacob Frank
Jan Doktór

21 Davidic Narratives in the Contemporary Roman Catholic Liturgical Readings
Elżbieta Łazarewicz-Wyrzykowska

22 The Reception of David and Michal in Twentieth and Twenty-First-Century Literature
Lena-Sofia Tiemeyer

The main beneficiaries of the volume will be scholars and students of Jewish, Christian and Islamic studies, especially those interested in Bible and Qurʾān exegesis, as well as other religious literature, but also scholars of comparative literature and literary theory, historians, historians of art, cultural scientists and possibly sociologists. Yet, we hope that the book will offer something of interest to a wider public which may benefit from its results, given the socio-historical importance of interreligious relations and the impact that these religious traditions had on the development of human culture and civilization as a whole.
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