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Title: Commentary from the margins : on the necessity of deconstruction in feminist Biblical interpretation
Author: Rutledge, David
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1993
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The purpose of this study is to demonstrate the potential offered by deconstructive criticism in general, and the insights of Jacques Derrida in particular, to feminist interpretation of the bible. I wish to argue broadly that feminism incorporates a programme which is 'deconstructive' in that it is committed to the dismantling of partriarchal power-structures, and thus that feminist biblical interpretation, in having to deal with texts that are partriarchal in outlook, should operate according to a hermeneutics which recognises and exploits at least some of the reading strategies currently associated with deconstructive literary criticism. The first chapter provides a critical outline of various kinds of feminist biblical interpretation, paying particular attention to the rhetorical criticism of Phyllis Trible and her assumptions concerning reading, writing and textuality. Chapter two broadens the discursive focus to look at patriarchal dualism and the concept of the essential Female, and goes on to consider the strengths and weaknesses of essentialism and relativism in feminist theory and exegesis. Chapter three looks at deconstruction and the work of Derrida, and assesses its viability as a matrix for a feminist biblical hermenuetics. Arguments against the kind of criticism deconstruction involves are introduced, beginning with Robert Alter's objectives to modern critical theory and his call for a return to a disinterested, 'neutral' reading. Chapter four continues the case against deconstruction, considering the claim that deconstruction is an inherently atheistic programme which cannot be brought to the bible without serious theological compromise. The relationship between rabbinic midrash and deconstruction is examined, along with the relevance this relationship has to feminist biblical interpretation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available