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Title: Paternity, progeny, and perpetuation : creating lives after death in the Hebrew Bible
Author: Mathias, Steffan Idris Mano
ISNI:       0000 0004 5991 0666
Awarding Body: King's College London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis explores texts that offer responses to men (as opposed to women) dying without sons (as opposed to daughters). It will investigate how identity, covenant, name, property and seed are passed down from father to son, and establish both the post-mortem continuity of the man and the social reproduction of the בית אב , the house of the father. Using the work of Foucault as well as anthropological insights, this thesis will look at eight texts which respond to the threat of men dying without sons - Gen 19, Gen 38, Deut 25:5-10, Ruth, 2 Sam 14:1-24, 2 Sam 18:18, Isa 56:3-5 and Num 27, 36 – and instead of reading them as reflections of different institutions (such as Levirate Marriage, inheritance law, or household religion) will demonstrate how they are reflective of a particular discourse. Ancient Israelite and Judahite beliefs about death, burial and memorial will be explored as a context to the fears of social annihilation apparent in these texts. The name, the seed, property, inheritance, reproduction and genealogy, all ideas present in these texts in different ways, will then be reassessed to demonstrate how they, rather than being disparate ideas, form part of the same symbolic ways of thinking, in which the integrity of the family is protected and passed down through generations of descendants. It will then be shown how these texts construct men as transmitters of identity and women as submissive counterparts. The failure to protect the transmission of the family line is both a failure in masculinity, the male, and the social order, and leads to the eradication of the name and memory of the man, and so these must be responded to through actions such as Levirate Marriage and the erection of monuments.
Supervisor: Joyce, Paul Michael ; Taylor, Joan Elizabeth Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available