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Title: Satire in the Old Testament
Author: Christian, Daniel Chung
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2014
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In recent years, through the process of narrative and literary criticism, scholars have begun suggesting that satire is present in specific texts of the Old Testament. Thus the primary function of this thesis is to analyse the validity of these arguments alongside suggesting different places where satire may be found. To achieve this goal, the thesis begins by analysing and defining satire as a concept. A clear definition provides the thesis with the method needed to identify satire in texts which predate any defined understanding of the concept. The thesis also uses satirical works from throughout history as templates for understanding similar types of satire within the biblical works. Once this methodology has been established, different genres of the Old Testament form the different chapters of the thesis. It identifies four different places where satire is deployed. Thus it examines satire in narratives, the book of Jonah, prophetic texts and wisdom literature. Each chapter combines new ideas with the analysis of previous scholastic arguments concerning the presence of satire. Within each genre a different type of satire with a range of complexity is deployed. The idol critiques in prophetic texts show simplistic satire. Narrative satire shows both situational and character-based satire. The book of Jonah is an example of hypocritical satire. Finally, satire in the wisdom literature contains a range of different satirical styles. The thesis concludes that satire is present within the texts of the Old Testament. This has implication to the field of satire. It affirms the existence of pre-Hellenistic satire. Alongside this, it shows that satire is a subconscious human technique, deployable even when the proponent has no defined understanding of the concept. In the field of Old Testament studies it provides an alternative reading of many familiar texts. A satirical reading provides clear insight into authorial intent as well as offering different interpretations of the texts which are examined.
Supervisor: Day, John Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Biblical studies ; Theology and Religion ; Satire ; Old Testment ; Literary studies ; Parody ; Comic