Biblical Corpora: Representations of Disability in Hebrew by Rebecca Raphael

By Rebecca Raphael

The e-book is equipped through style of biblical literature. First, the priestly literature articulates a binary suggestion of incapacity as impure and passive, i.e. as ‘other' to the natural, holy, and active. By distinction, within the prophetic literature and the Psalms, pictures of incapacity constitution verbal exchange between God, prophets, leaders, and people. Here, incapacity doesn't easily suggest impurity; its valuation will depend on its possessor. Wisdom literature and narrative current figures (e.g. task, Mephibosheth) whose innate or got disabilities are however put, and never easily as impurities, inside cosmic and social order. Although priestly literature turns out anomalous, all strata of biblical literature use incapacity imagery no longer basically to symbolize disabled people, yet in general to symbolize the ability of Israel's God. Physical norms and incapacity hence play a pervasive and formerly missed function in biblical different types of holy/unholy, pure/impure, election/rejection, and God/idols.

This ebook provides a literary severe technique taken with illustration within the canonical kind of the textual content permits a finished view of ways photos of incapacity function on the subject of significant techniques, and in addition presents a origin for reviews within the heritage of interpretation. All dialogue of biblical passages and books draw on present ancient reports as an important precondition for understanding.


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Extra resources for Biblical Corpora: Representations of Disability in Hebrew Biblical Literature

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Noth also thinks that the similarity makes the texts post-exilic but not dependent in either direction (Leviticus, 69–70). 10. , 616. 11. , 616–17. 12. , 617. 13 The contrast between bodily wholeness and bodily blemish intersects with these categories such that we can infer the value that Leviticus assigned to at least some kinds of disabilities. So, within this system of separations, I shall focus on two sites: the priestly body and the animal body. The material on bodily discharges will serve to gloss the concept of wholeness (Mymt).

How disability intersects or diverges from a culture’s concept of illness also varies. Nevertheless, Avalos’s study of ancient health care as a system provides a significant part of the large framework in which impairment and disability were understood in the Hebrew Bible. Regarding ancient Israelite culture, Avalos concludes that the medical theology viewed God as the only agent and healer of illness. God’s reasons for sending illness could vary, but the most frequent reason was to punish a transgressor.

How can anyone do otherwise? In this respect, the difference between impurity and profaneness diminishes, for both diverge in different ways from the ideal, and both by implication converge on the ideal as what they are not. The result is not two distinct concepts, the pure and the holy, but rather two facets of the same concept of Normal. The materiality of that representation values unblemished bodies and devalues, to different degrees, blemished ones. This is not about taking language literally, but rather about taking human thought concretely when it is concrete.

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