Narrative and Other Readings in the Book of Esther
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Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Number of Pages: 184
Width: 15.6 cm
Height: 23.4 cm
This collection of essays considers the Book of Esther from a literary and sociological perspective. In part one, Else Holt outlines the main questions of historical-critical research in the Book of Esther. She also discusses the theological meaning of a biblical book without God, and examines how the book was transmitted through the last centuries BCE. She also explores how the Hebrew and Greek variants of the Book of Esther picture its main character, Esther, the Jewish queen of Persia. In part two, Holt offers deconstructive reading of themes hidden under the surface-levels of the book. Chapters include discussions of Esther’s initiation into her role as Persian queen; the inter-textual conversation with two much later texts, The Arabian Nights and The Story of O; and the relationship between Mordecai, the Jew, and his opponent Haman, the Agagite, as a matter of mimetic doublings. The last part of the book introduces the sociological concept of ethnicity-construction as the backdrop for perceiving the instigation of the Jewish festival Purim and the violence connected to it, and looks at the Book of Esther as an example of trauma literature. The concluding chapter analyses the moral quality of the book of Esther, asking the question: Is it a bedtime story?