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Title: 'My God will be your God' : Divine Agency and the role of the outsider in the Hebrew Bible
Author: Curtis, Anthony Gordon
ISNI:       0000 0004 7962 6355
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2019
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This thesis examines the role of the 'outsider' in relation to the community of faith in the Hebrew Bible. 'My God will be your God' explores recent work on election, providing a context in which to examine how 'outsiders' operate across a range of biblical narratives. Taking a canonical approach to the role of such 'outsiders', it undertakes an investigation of five figures in the biblical texts whose actions have a particularly significant impact on the chosen people - Zipporah, Jethro, Rahab, Ruth, and Jael - assessing the extent to which each may be seen as 'outsider' and as a divine agent of change and transformation. Paying close attention to the language used by and about them, their motives and actions, patterns emerge concerning the role of such figures in the divine economy. The treatment of two further figures, Vashti and Aseneth, is then explored, to determine the extent to which comparable 'outsiders' have been similarly received. Examining the reception of each figure in extra-biblical tradition and subsequent commentary, it discerns the interpretative moves which have been made to minimise the threat posed by such 'outsiders', and discusses the far-reaching and long-lasting impact which they have within the salvation history of Israel. The case studies are used to propose a theological understanding of the role of 'outsiders' as an integral part of God's self-communication to the 'elect', a feature of the divine economy which has practical implications for the self-understanding of communities of faith. Finally, some of the implications for dialogue, engagement, and the formulation of doctrine are addressed in the light of the study's findings, proposing a new, scripturally based understanding of the role of the outside voice for today's faith traditions.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available