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Title: Trickster Redux : a reappraisal of Jacob's theological significance
Author: Kahan, David
ISNI:       0000 0004 2729 0853
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 2009
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Bringing God into history is Jacob's task. Jacob the patriarch, the one who breaks through, is a powerful biblical figure who may have been a role model for Jesus and was considered eldest of the angels during New Testament. Medieval church frescoes depict Jesus and Jacob together wearing halos. Unfortunately, as a survey of commentary will show, Post-Reformation Jacob becomes the typical Jew ruthlessly taking advantage of his brother, repulsive, a vile deceiver. Cardinal Ratzinger questioned whether Christians still can claim in good conscience to be the legitimate heirs of Israel's Bible: to a degree Jacob, his narrative, and a viable hermeneutic has been 'lost' to Christianity. Decisively breaking with more traditional and literary approaches, the oldest hermeneutic has been rearticulated and brought back into play: verbal performing art. It is this hermeneutic - more intuitional and more capable of capturing ephemeral poetic moments - that can efficaciously attend to the biblical text's heterogene vivacity. It is well suited to explore inherent textual ambiguity. Loosely set within an ethnographic context where both narrative and character demand serious attention, the Jacobean narrative is approached closely. Seeking Jewish perspectives as well as Christian, it listens carefully for possibly dominated voices. There in the textual gaps, evidence will be found of a more hidden transcript with trickster discourse. Primarily a theological endeavour attempting to build bridges to the Tanakh for Christian readers, the goal is to discover fresh presences of Jacob, uncover narrative coherence for his actions and establish theological significance. A return to the biblical text will reveal that between the formative time and Sinaiic time lies Jacobean time. As will be demonstrated, Jacob is blessed by God only after Jacob recognizes his own amporphous disruptive and subversive abilities. As has been said of others, Jacob shatters convention by mastering tradition. Jacob is the liminal figure who grasps the nature of perdurance and is therefore able to conceive a nascent Judaism and ensure that at Sinai the covenant will be set in Halakah. Jacob's narrative can be conceived as a tribute to sacred trickster.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BS The Bible