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Abraham in London, Marburg-Istanbul and Israel: Between Theocracy and Democracy, Ancient Text and Modern State

Sherwood, Yvonne (2008) Abraham in London, Marburg-Istanbul and Israel: Between Theocracy and Democracy, Ancient Text and Modern State. Biblical Interpretation, 16 (2). pp. 105-153. ISSN 0927-2569. E-ISSN 1568-5152. (doi:10.1163/156851507X194251) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided. (Contact us about this Publication)
Official URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/156851507X194251

Abstract

This article examines three occurrences of the sacrifice of Isaac in relatively recent cultural and political histories: the case of Godden versus Hales (England, 1686); Erich Auerbach's 'Odysseus' Scar' in Mimesis (Istanbul [Marburg], 1943-1945); and the use of the akedah as a political figure for the modern Israeli nation state. In these three very different cases the biblical narrative undergoes a theological-political translation and the God who issues the exceptional command to sacrifice becomes a figure for the sovereign and/or the state. Each political translation also calls forth critical responses in which the core question becomes the relationship of divine monarchy/state authority to freedom, or, to put it another way, of democracy or would-be 'democracy' to 'theocracy' and its various modern political correlates. By analysing these translations and responses, this essay explores how the questions as it were forced on us by Genesis 22 are not just religious, though they can be understood through the idioms of the religious. It concludes by asking whether such theological-political translations could be relevant to 'Biblical Studies Proper' as a more expansive discipline looks outwards to questions of religion, politics and ethics.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1163/156851507X194251
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
P Language and Literature
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of European Culture and Languages
Depositing User: N. Isaeva
Date Deposited: 20 Aug 2014 09:51 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 12:57 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/42487 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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