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In: Biblical Interpretation

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
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?

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?
In: Present and Future of Biblical Studies

At present, ‘High theory’, epitomized by poststructuralism, is in a perceived state of decline in literary studies. This three-part article explores the complex ramifications of the ‘after theory’ debate for biblical studies, a field that, for the most part, still seems to be in a ‘before theory’ phase. Our intent, however, is not to sell biblical scholars on Theory, finally, before the supply runs out. Our aim, rather, is diagnostic and analytic. We want to look at what has happened, what has foiled to happen, and what might yet happen in biblical studies in relation to Theory, and reflect on what these various appropriations, adaptations and missed encounters reveal about the very different disciplinary spaces occupied by biblical studies and literary studies, and the very different disciplinary histories that have brought each of these spaces into being. Contending that Theory’s most important contribution is the self-reflexive and metacritical moves it makes possible, our reflection on Theory’s reception in biblical studies is intended to defamiliarise the peculiarities of our own disciplinary space. What follows is the final instalment of this three-part article.

In: Biblical Interpretation

Abstract

This article introduces a thematic issue of Biblical Interpretation on the “temporal turn” in queer theory as it relates to biblical studies. Queer theorists of time have variously interrogated inherited concepts of history, historiography, historicity, and/or periodicity; the chrononormativity that regulates contemporary sexual lives; reproductive futurism, which evokes “our children” and their future to shore up heteronormativity and anathematize queerness; or explored the complex relations of queerness to the future and hence to hope. The contributions to this thematic issue, also introduced in the article, creatively harness these temporal theories and analytic strategies for queer biblical criticism and queer biblical hermeneutics.

In: Biblical Interpretation