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A Tale of Cross-dressers, Mothers and Murderers : Deborah and Jael in Ancient and Contemporary Thought

Järlemyr, Sara LU (2015) BIVM61 20151
Centre for Theology and Religious Studies
Abstract
This study of the characters of Deborah and Jael entails not only reading the Biblical text, but also reading both ancient and contemporary interpreters who in one way or another elaborate on the otherwise sparsely described characters. In other words: How they fill the gaps. The obvious problem for both ancient and contemporary interpreters is questions of gender, what does it mean that the story revolves around two women? They have different ways of dealing with this issue: Either they flaunt the characters’ gender front and centre, making it the key to understanding the story, or they try to ignore the issue by downplaying the role of the women. A third option, which can be used as a supplement to the options above, is sexualizing. Both... (More)
This study of the characters of Deborah and Jael entails not only reading the Biblical text, but also reading both ancient and contemporary interpreters who in one way or another elaborate on the otherwise sparsely described characters. In other words: How they fill the gaps. The obvious problem for both ancient and contemporary interpreters is questions of gender, what does it mean that the story revolves around two women? They have different ways of dealing with this issue: Either they flaunt the characters’ gender front and centre, making it the key to understanding the story, or they try to ignore the issue by downplaying the role of the women. A third option, which can be used as a supplement to the options above, is sexualizing. Both modern and ancient interpreters have found sexual euphemisms to be the key to understanding these texts. I will, in my own attempt of filling gaps, focus on the issues of gender(s) finding the text a boundary-crossing gender-reversing tale of women turned into men and men turned into women/children. The text does not question the prevailing androcentric norm-system but uses it as an effective way of shaming men. (Less)
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author
Järlemyr, Sara LU
supervisor
organization
course
BIVM61 20151
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Deborah, Jael, Gender, Sisera, Barak, Judges 4 and 5, Josephus, Pseudo- Philo, Talmud.
language
English
id
7369591
date added to LUP
2015-07-20 14:57:49
date last changed
2015-07-20 14:57:49
@misc{7369591,
  abstract     = {This study of the characters of Deborah and Jael entails not only reading the Biblical text, but also reading both ancient and contemporary interpreters who in one way or another elaborate on the otherwise sparsely described characters. In other words: How they fill the gaps. The obvious problem for both ancient and contemporary interpreters is questions of gender, what does it mean that the story revolves around two women? They have different ways of dealing with this issue: Either they flaunt the characters’ gender front and centre, making it the key to understanding the story, or they try to ignore the issue by downplaying the role of the women. A third option, which can be used as a supplement to the options above, is sexualizing. Both modern and ancient interpreters have found sexual euphemisms to be the key to understanding these texts. I will, in my own attempt of filling gaps, focus on the issues of gender(s) finding the text a boundary-crossing gender-reversing tale of women turned into men and men turned into women/children. The text does not question the prevailing androcentric norm-system but uses it as an effective way of shaming men.},
  author       = {Järlemyr, Sara},
  keyword      = {Deborah,Jael,Gender,Sisera,Barak,Judges 4 and 5,Josephus,Pseudo- Philo,Talmud.},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {A Tale of Cross-dressers, Mothers and Murderers : Deborah and Jael in Ancient and Contemporary Thought},
  year         = {2015},
}