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Restoration and the Refiguring of Israel'S Identity: Reading Allusion to Deuteronomy 30.1-10 in Second Temple Narratives

Laugelli, Benjamin
Format
Thesis/Dissertation; Online
Author
Laugelli, Benjamin
Advisor
Halvorson-Taylor, Martien
Gamble, Harry
Abstract
Whereas most biblical scholars investigate allusion to address questions concerning literary influence and authorial intentionality, my project departs from that model to develop an intertextual and reader-oriented approach to biblical allusion that considers the interpretive possibilities reading allusion allows irrespective of authorial intention. My study explores how reading allusion to Deuteronomy 30.1-10, where Moses tells of Israel's restoration from exile, contributes to the literary figuration of a restored Israel in four biblical narratives: Nehemiah, Ruth, Tobit, and the Gospel of Mark. I argue that, once activated, the allusion positions these works as participants in a kind of experimental literary theatre; read allusively, the four narratives cast a company of diverse and unlikely actors to play the role scripted in Deuteronomy for restored Israel. These include: repatriated Judean exiles sequestered from foreign influence (Nehemiah), a Moabite woman who serves as an emblem and agent of Judean restoration (Ruth), an afflicted Israelite exile who experiences a measure of divine restoration while living in diaspora (Tobit), and the followers of a Galilean prophet divinely acclaimed as Israel's messiah and charged with bringing about eschatological restoration (the Gospel of Mark). I conclude that the performances of Deut 30.1-10 enacted in the four alluding narratives imagine alternative possibilities for refiguring national restoration under the shadow of an exile literarily depicted as unresolved and ongoing.
Language
English
Published
University of Virginia, Department of Religious Studies, PHD, 2014
Published Date
2014-02-11
Degree
PHD
Collection
Libra ETD Repository
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