Day in Mamre, Night in Sodom

Abraham and Lot in Genesis 18 and 19


Recent developments in Pentateuchal studies — from both diachronic (historical) and synchronic (literary-textual) perspectives — have made it possible to read Genesis 18 and 19, the evocative story of Abraham and Lot, in a new light. This work uses both types of approach to examine the text, (1) considered in its own terms — its structural and linguistic features, in a detailed close reading of each verse — and (2) considered in terms of its symbolism and imagery in relation to those found in comparable cultures of the ancient Middle East.
The end product is an integrated reading of the Abraham and Lot story as a sustained literary unit, and the reading process demonstrates the value of a range of exegetical methods — structuralist, linguistic, literary, historical and anthropological — in the continuing exploration of this well-known biblical narrative.

Biographical Note

Robert Ignatius Letellier, STD (Gregorian, Rome); Ph.D. (Salzburg), is a lecturer and writer who lives in London and Cambridge, working in scripture, biblical theology, literature and music, especially the history of opera. He has published two books on English and German Romanticism (1980, 1982) and is currently preparing several other works for publication.

Review Quotes

' Le style d'une particulière élégance, dont l'auteur ne se départ jamais, est une qualité rare et qui mérite sans conteste d'être relevée.' J.-L. Ska, S.J. Nouvelle Revue Théologique, 1996. ' ...well-informed and well-produced book...' AB, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament, 1996.


Biblical scholars and students, those interested in literary criticism, comparative anthropology, and hermeneutics.