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Bible Trouble

Queer Reading at the Boundaries of Biblical Scholarship

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Edited by Teresa J. Hornsby and Ken Stone

The essays in Bible Trouble all engage queer theories for purposes of biblical interpretation, a rare effort to date within biblical scholarship. The title phrase “Bible Trouble” plays on Judith Butler's Gender Trouble, gesturing toward a primary text for contemporary queer theory. The essays consider, among others, the Lazarus story, the Ethiopian eunuch, “gender trouble” in Judges 4 and 5, the Song of Songs, and an unorthodox coupling of the books of Samuel and the film Paris Is Burning. This volume “troubles” not only the boundaries between biblical scholarship and queer theory but also the boundaries between different frameworks currently used in the analysis of biblical literature, including sexuality, gender, race, class, history, and literature. The contributors are Ellen T. Armour, Michael Joseph Brown, Sean D. Burke, Heidi Epstein, Deryn Guest, Jione Havea, Teresa J. Hornsby, Lynn R. Huber, S. Tamar Kamionkowski, Joseph A. Marchal, Jeremy Punt, Erin Runions, Ken Stone, Gillian Townsley, Jay Twomey, and Manuel Villalobos.

Celebrating the Dead Sea Scrolls

A Canadian Collection

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Edited by Peter W. Flint, Jean Duhaime and Kyung S. Baek

This volume celebrates the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, their contents, the community that wrote and preserved them, and new scientific issues that arise from Scrolls studies. The essays, in four sections, explore the origins and text of scripture, the interpretation of scripture in Second Temple Judaism, the identity and practices of the movement associated with Qumran and the Scrolls, and the extensive contributions of Canadian projects and scholarship. Eight color plates are included in the volume.The contributors are Eileen Schuller, Jason Kalmon and Jaqueline S. du Toit, Jean Duhaime, Andrew B. Perrin, Benjamin H. Parker, Peter W. Flint and Kyung S. Baek, Eugene Ulrich, Manuel Jinbachian, Martin G. Abegg Jr., Emanuel Tov, Steve Mason, Daniel K. Falk, Wayne McCready, Ian W. Scott, Chad Martin Stauber, Ted M. Erho, Robert David with the collaboration of Éric Bellavance, Francis Daoust, Marie-France Dion, Dorothy M. Peters, Hindy Najman, C. J. Patrick Davis, Lorenzo DiTommaso, Cecilia Wassen, and Craig A. Evans.

From Face to Face

Recarving of Roman Portraits and the Late-Antique Portrait Arts

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Marina Prusac

This book is based on an investigation of more than 2000 portraits of which around 500 have proven to be recarved. It provides thorough analyses of the different recarving methods, some of which can be attributed to geographically localized workshops, establishing classifiable categories, and an analytical text with special regard to the cultural historical changes in Late Antiquity. The investigation underpins a hypothesis on the late antique portraits style as a consequence of the many recarved portraits at the time, which relied on a syncretism of politics, religion and ideology. The conclusion gives a new understanding of how broad-scoped, culturally and politically encoded and comprehensive the practice of recarving was.

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Volkmar Fritz

According to the biblical image of Israel’s history, the time before the Israelite state can be divided into two
periods: the conquest and division of the land (Joshua) and Israel’s self-preservation against various enemies
in the now-occupied land (Judges). The description of both eras is, to be sure, largely fictitious, since the
traditions recorded in these books emerged only during the period of the monarchy. However, the basic kernel
of the Song of Deborah (Judges 5) is an authentic text from this period, and in it we discover that, in the
eleventh century, ten tribes settled in the region and resisted Canaanite power claims. According to
archaeological findings, although some Canaanite cities continued to exist in the eleventh century, the land was
largely populated by new people in small nearby towns in which the material culture of the Canaanites was
taken over. By carefully separating fact from fiction, Fritz offers an insightful and enlightening depiction of this
seminal period of Israel’s history.

Staging Socialist Femininity

Gender Politics and Folklore Performance in Serbia

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Ana Hofman

Ana Hofman examines the negotiation of the gender performances in Serbian rural areas as a result of the socialist gender policy and creation of the new “femininity” in the public sphere. She focuses on the stage performances of female amateur groups at the Village Gatherings, state-sponsored events held from the 1970s through the mid-1990s in the southeastern Serbian region of Niško Polje. Offering a multifaceted picture of the personal experiences of the socialist ideology of gender equality, Staging Socialist Femininity investigates the complex relationships between personal, interpersonal and political levels in socialism. By showing the interplay between ideology, representational and social practices in the realm of musical performance, it challenges the strong division in scholarly narratives between ideology and practice in socialist societies.

Interpreting Exile

Displacement and Deportation in Biblical and Modern Contexts

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Edited by Brad Kelle, Frank Richard Ames and Jacob L. Wright

Interpreting Exile considers forced displacement and deportation in ancient Israel and comparable modern contexts in order to offer insight into the realities of war and exile in ancient Israel and their representations in the Hebrew Bible. Introductory essays describe the interdisciplinary and comparative approach and explain how it overcomes methodological dead ends and advances the study of war in ancient and modern contexts. Following essays, written by scholars from various disciplines, explore specific cases drawn from a wide variety of ancient and modern settings and consider archaeological, anthropological, physical, and psychological realities, as well as biblical, literary, artistic, and iconographic representations of displacement and exile. The volume as a whole places Israel’s experiences and expressions of forced displacement into the broader context of similar war-related phenomena from multiple contexts. The contributors are Rainer Albertz, Frank Ritchel Ames, Samuel E. Balentine, Bob Becking, Aaron A. Burke, David M. Carr, Marian H. Feldman, David G. Garber Jr., M. Jan Holton, Michael M. Homan, Hugo Kamya, Brad E. Kelle, T. M. Lemos, Nghana Lewis, Oded Lipschits, Christl M. Maier, Amy Meverden, William Morrow, Shelly Rambo, Janet L. Rumfelt, Carolyn J. Sharp, Daniel L. Smith-Christopher, and Jacob L. Wright.

John, Qumran, and the Dead Sea Scrolls

Sixty Years of Discovery and Debate

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Edited by Mary Coloe and Tom Thatcher

The Dead Sea Scrolls reveal a Palestinian form of Second Temple Judaism in which the seeds of Johannine Christianity may have first sprouted. Although many texts from the Judean Desert are now widely available, the Scrolls have had little part in discussions of the Johannine literature over the past several decades. The essays in this book, ranging from focused studies of key passages in the Fourth Gospel to its broader social world, consider the past and potential impact of the Scrolls on Johannine studies in the context of a growing interest in the historical roots of the Johannine tradition and the origins and nature of the “Johannine community” and its relationship to mainstream Judaism. Future scholarship will be interested in connections between the Gospel of John and the Scrolls and also in Qumran Judaism and Johannine Christianity as parallel religious movements. The contributors are Mary L. Coloe and Tom Thatcher, Eileen Schuller, Paul N. Anderson, John Ashton, George J. Brooke, Brian J. Capper, Hannah K. Harrington, Loren T. Stuckenbruck, and James H. Charlesworth.

Cleanliness and Culture

Indonesian Histories

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Edited by C. (Kees) van Dijk and Jean Gelman Taylor

Recent years have shown an increase in interest in the study of cleanliness from a historical and sociological perspective. Many of such studies on bathing and washing, on keeping the body and the streets clean, and on filth and the combat of dirt, focus on Europe.
In Cleanliness and Culture attention shifts to the tropics, to Indonesia, in colonial times as well as in the present. Subjects range from the use of soap and the washing of clothes as a pretext to claim superiority of race and class to how references to being clean played a role in a campaign against European homosexuals in the Netherlands Indies at the end of the 1930s. Other topics are eerie skin diseases and the sanitary measures to eliminate them, and how misconceptions about lack of hygiene as the cause of illness hampered the finding of a cure. Attention is also drawn to differences in attitude towards performing personal body functions outdoors and retreating to the privacy of the bathroom, to traditional bathing ritual and to the modern tropical Spa culture as a manifestation of a New Asian lifestyle.
With contributions by Bart Barendregt, Marieke Bloembergen, Kees van Dijk, Mary Somers Heidhues, David Henley, George Quinn, and Jean Gelman Taylor.
Full text (Open Access)

The Land of Unlikeness

Hieronymus Bosch, The Garden of Earthly Delights

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Reindert Falkenburg

Hieronymus Bosch's Garden of Earthly Delights is one of the most enigmatic paintings in the history of western art. Apart from a brief description by an eyewitness in 1517, there are no contemporary records that tell us anything about the original commission of the painting, its placement, function or audience.

Reindert Falkenburg now offers a detailed analysis of Bosch's eye- and mind boggling play with pictorial traditions. He argues that the painting was created towards the end of the fifteenth century as a conversation piece for an audience of Burgundian nobles. He suggests that the Garden of Earthly Delights served as a multifaceted mirror for viewers to reflect on how humanity, while created in the image and likeness of God, in the course of history has lost its original identity and tends towards becoming one with a world that is susceptible to an all-perverting force of evil origin. This debatable nature of Bosch's imagery is central to any engaged viewership, historical or modern.

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Edited by Mark Leuchter and Jeremy M. Hutton

Priestly functionaries occupy a paramount position in the study of the Hebrew Bible. Despite more than a century of critical research, questions still abound regarding social location and definitions of the various priestly groups, the depictions of their origins, their ritual functions, the role of the laity and family religion, the relationship between prophecy and the priesthood, and the dating of texts. Making use of cross-disciplinary approaches, this volume provides a representative look at the state of current research into various aspects of priesthood in ancient Israel.