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Title: Dynamics of Diselection: Ambiguity in Genesis 12-36 and Ethnic Boundries in Post-Exilic Judah
Author: Heard, R Christopher
Publisher: SBL Press; Publication Date: 2001
Paperback; ISBN: 9781589830011
Volumes: 1; Pages: 212
List Price in Paper: $29.95 Our price: $22.99
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In this work, the author brings literary-aesthetic and socio-historical considerations into a meaningful synergy that illuminates both the literary features and the social functions of Genesis 12-36. Heard rigorously examines the ambiguities (some long known, some heretofore unrecognized) in the characterizations of Lot, Ishmael, and Esau. He painstakingly charts the range of possible resolutions for those ambiguities, noting the lack of guidance provided by the narrator for readers negotiating these options. Heard argues that the narrator's penchant for leaving these ambiguit ies unresolved is neither accidental nor a generic feature of language, but is instead a strategy of the narratives' ideological function in promoting ethnic exclusivity in post-exilic Judah. Heard's study yields a richer understanding of why Genesis 12-36 was written as it was, and gives new depth and vigor to studies of the form and function of the book of Genesis.