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The Apocalypse of John is an affect-intensive text. What Revelation reveals above all is an immense loathing for Rome, and it aims to infect its audiences in turn with disgust for that intimate Other. Impelled by Sara Ahmed’s work on the cultural politics of emotion, this article reconceives Revelation’s “great whore” as a circulating (sex) object that is supremely “sticky” or saturated with affect. It explores how Revelation’s affective economy works by sticking “figures of hate” together like Jezebel, the whore, and the beast. It argues that Revelation’s impossible project is the vomitous ejection of a loathsome alien entity (Rome as Jezebel) that has somehow gotten inside, but in whose monstrous body (Rome as Babylon) one is also somehow contained. It explains why the expulsion or annihilation of the intolerable Other is contradictorily combined with its incorporation or ingestion: the devouring of the whore; the ghastly “great supper of God.” It also ponders why nauseous food (“sacrificed to idols”) taken into the (social) body figures the fear of contamination in this book, and why the intimately encroaching empire is figured in intensely sexualized terms: the intolerable cultural closeness of Rome requires representation in ways that evoke intimate contact felt on the surface of the skin.


In: Biblical Interpretation
In: Biblical Interpretation
Critical and Postcritical Essays
The sixteen essays assembled in this volume, four of them co-authored, chart the successive phases of a professional life lived in the interstices of Bible and “theory.” Engaging such texts as the Song of Songs, 4 Maccabees, Mark, Luke-Acts, John, and Romans, and such themes as the quest for the historical Jesus, the essays simultaneously traverse postmodernism, deconstruction, New Historicism, autobiographical criticism, cultural studies, postcolonial studies, masculinity studies, queer theory, and “posttheory.” Individual essay introductions and periodic annotated bibliographies make the volume an advanced introduction to biblical literary criticism.
In: Sacred Tropes: Tanakh, New Testament, and Qur'an as Literature and Culture

Abstract

“Interpretosis” is the satiric term French philosopher Gilles Deleuze bestows on hermeneutics. He and his sometime collaborator Félix Guattari reject every depth hermeneutic predicated upon a concept of interior meaning. In place of the communicational model of meaning associated with classic humanism, but also in place of the constructivist model of meaning associated with postmodernism, Deleuze and Guattari propose a theory of expression that breaks with both models, as well as with Saussurean linguistics (even in its poststructuralist radicalizations), and privileges instead virtuality, emergence and the disjunction of form and content. Aided and abetted by Deleuzoguattarian philosopher Brian Massumi, this essay seeks to explicate Deleuze and Guattari’s para-poststructuralist theory of expression and to reconceptualize biblical authorship, biblical texts and biblical interpretation by means of it. The result is a paradoxical Bible that expresses without communicating and whose strange, prophetic stammerings continually summon “a people to come.”

In: Biblical Exegesis without Authorial Intention?

This article introduces a thematic issue of Biblical Interpretation on the high-profile field of affect theory as it relates to biblical studies. Affect theory analyzes emotions and still more elemental forces that are rooted in bodies and pass between them. In addition to previewing the six articles in the issue – three of which grapple with Hebrew Bible texts and three with early Christian texts – this introduction provides a brief history of affect theory and maps its main variants. The article also reflects on the challenges of turning a body of theory largely uninterested in literary interpretation into a set of strategies for reading biblical texts.


In: Biblical Interpretation

Abstract

Our ambition in this article is to use the New Historicism as a spade with which to open up the grave where John Dominic Crossan's historical Jesus was unceremoniously dumped, exhuming certain asumptions buried there in the process. As we dig and sieve the contents of this burial site ("Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here"), we uncover a rock-hewn tomb from which to summon a shadowy protean figure shrouded in contingencya New Historicist Jesus.

In: Biblical Interpretation
This collection considers themes of Christology, patriarchy, violence, colonialism, family structures, and sexual practices as it explores the construction and performance of masculinity in the New Testament and related early Christian texts. Examining the Gospels, Romans, the Pastorals,
Revelation, and the Shepherd of Hermas, it situates diverse masculinities within a Greco-Roman matrix and introduces biblical scholarship to a rich vein of classical scholarship on gender. The contributors include Janice Capel Anderson, David J. A. Clines, Colleen M. Conway, Mary Rose D'Angelo, Page duBois, Chris Frilingos, Jennifer A. Glancy, Maud W. Gleason, Stephen D. Moore, Jerome H. Neyrey, Seong Hee Kim, Jeffrey L. Staley, Diana M. Swancutt, Tat-siong Benny Liew and Eric Thurman.

Paperback edition is available from the Society of Biblical Literature (www.sbl-site.org).