The latest publication from Dr Deryn Guest, Senior Lecturer in Biblical Hermeneutics in the department, is now available as a contribution to The Oxford Handbook of Biblical Narrative. Deryn’s work exploring ‘Judging YHWH in the Book of Judges’ takes an innovative look at the character of YHWH and particularly at the interaction with gender, cultural mores, and interpersonal relationships.
Abstract: Narrative approaches initiated a sea-change in Judges studies. Narrative approaches, however, require additional tools if they are to challenge the text’s ideology. While several narrative critics combined their expertise with feminist theory, scholars are yet to engage fully with the critical study of masculinities or with queer studies that offer a new, rich vein of research focused on how gender and sexuality is an integral aspect of character. YHWH has largely evaded the kind of attention given to other, more earthly, characters. This chapter discusses YHWH’s alpha-male qualities and how they create gender trouble for the cast of male characters in Judges; how YHWH is caught up with the cultural dictates of honor and shame; how object-relations theory can be fruitful in understanding the relationship dynamics between YHWH and Israel. Attention finally returns to the narrator and his stake in this representation of the deity.