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Jonathan loved David : manly love in the bible and the hermeneutics of sex

Author: Anthony Heacock
Publisher: Sheffield, England : Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2011.
Series: Bible in the modern world, 22.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
The relationship between the Hebrew heroes David and Jonathan has caught the attention of popular and scholarly writers alike. Yet there is little agreement about the future of this relationship that speaks of a love between two men that surpasses the love of a woman (2 Sam. 1:26). Weighing the arguments of scholars including Nissinen, Stone and Zehnder, Heacock produces a meta-critical analysis of the many  Read more...
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Named Person: Jonathan, (Biblical figure); David, King of Israel.; Jonathan, (biblisk person); David, kung av Israel; David, King of Israel.; Jonathan, (Biblical figure); Jonatan.; David, Israel König.; König) David (Israel; Jonatan, Bibel.
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Anthony Heacock
ISBN: 1906055505 9781906055509
OCLC Number: 226166258
Description: xv, 181 pages ; 24 cm.
Contents: Introduction --
Setting the scene and outlining the 'proof texts' --
What do the interpreters say? Different interpretations, common ground --
Historicizing manly love --
Male-male intimacy in ancient and modern friendships --
The hermeneutical shift in literature, the humanities and biblical studies from historical author to present-day reader --
Queer hermeneutics and the David and Jonathan narrative.
Series Title: Bible in the modern world, 22.
Responsibility: Anthony Heacock.

Abstract:

The relationship between the Hebrew heroes David and Jonathan has caught the attention of popular and scholarly writers alike. Yet there is little agreement about the future of this relationship that speaks of a love between two men that surpasses the love of a woman (2 Sam. 1:26). Weighing the arguments of scholars including Nissinen, Stone and Zehnder, Heacock produces a meta-critical analysis of the many interpretations of the relationship between David and Jonathan, identifying three dominant readings: the traditional political-theological interpretation, the homoerotic interpretation, and the homosocial interpretation. After outlining the three interpretative approaches, Heacock considers the evidence cited to support each: namely, themes in the David and Jonathan narrative and related biblical texts, ancient political treaties, laws pertaining to homogenital behaviour in the ancient Mediterranean world, and the heroic tales of the 'Gilgamesh Epic' and Homer's 'Iliad'. By applying history epistemological shifts in knowledge as developed in the interdisciplinary fields of sexuality studies, queer studies and ancient history, Heacock emphasizes the inescapability of the modern reader's cultural context when reading the narrative, particularly the influence of modern discourses of sexuality. Rather than suggest an alternative historical reading, Heacock turns the debate on its head by abandoning claims to historical veracity and embracing the input of the contemporary queer reader. Using queer theory and reader-response criticism, he offers a reading of the relationship between David and Jonathan through the lens of contemporary gay male friendships. This queer reading not only celebrates manly love in its numerous forms, but also adds a self-critical voice to the discussion that exposes the heteronormative assumptions underlying the questions often asked of the narrative. (Back cover).

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