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The Earthy Nature of the Bible: Fleshly Readings of Sex, Masculinity, and Carnality

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The Earthy Nature of the Bible

Fleshly Readings of Sex, Masculinity, and Carnality

By Roland T. Boer

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Format: Paperback, 208 pages
Other Information: 1 figures
Published In: United Kingdom, 15 November 2012
Through a series of readings, Boer explores the earthy nature of the Bible. These readings are gathered into three parts: the Song of Songs; Masculinities; Paraphilias . The first part begins by exploring what a fully carnal allegory (the assumption that the Song is about human sex) might look like, moving on to ask how a rigorously literal reading would work (one that takes references to the sex of plants and animals at face value). The second part deals with biblical masculinities and their chronic instabilities at a very material level: the terminology for testicles, or the testicular logic of biblical Hebrew; the spermatic spluttering pen(ise)s of the scribal prophets; the queerness of the all-male worlds of Chronicles and Mount Sinai; and then the deep uncertainties of the ban on images of God, as revealed through male body-building. The third part plunges into paraphilias, whether prostitution or pornography, lascivious rabbis, masturbating prophets, bestiality or necrophilia. Each study is undertaken with rigorous attention to relevant scholarship and significant theoretical engagement (especially with psychoanalysis, ecocriticism and Marxism).

Table of Contents

Introduction PART I: SONG OF SONGS: INTRODUCTION The Second Coming: Repetition and Insatiable Desire in the Song of Songs A Fleshly Reading: Masochism, Ecocriticism and the Song of Songs Making It, Literally: Metaphor, Economy and the Sensuality of Nature PART II: MASCULINITIES: INTRODUCTION The Patriarch's Nuts: Concerning the Testicular Logic of Biblical Hebrew Too Many Dicks at the Writing Desk, or, How to Organise a Prophetic Sausage-Fest Of Fine Wine, Incense and Spices: The Unstable Masculine Hegemony of the Books of Chronicles Yahweh as Top: A Lost Targum Skin Gods: Circumcising the Built Male Body PART III: PARAPHILIAS: INTRODUCTION Hooker Hermeneutics: A Reading of Avaren Ipsen's Sex Working and the Bible King Solomon Meets Annie Sprinkle Orientalist Camp: The Case of Allen Edwardes Hittites, Horses and Corpses: On Bestiality and Necrophilia in the Hebrew Bible Conclusion

About the Author

ROLAND BOER is a Researcher Professor at the University of Newcastle, UK. He has published widely in theology, philosophy and biblical studies.

Reviews

'An excellent, often brilliant, and highly original book which provides a reading of biblical texts (especially the Old Testament) and their receptions with a particular focus on themes relating to sex, sexuality and various body parts, through the use of psychoanalytical and Marxist theory. In a nutshell Boer's argument is that the Bible is, or can be read as, a much more earthy text than is usually believed. A dry, dull academic book this is not--I have taught a module on the Bible and Gender and there is no doubt that this book would be required reading.' -- James G. Crossley, Professor of Bible, Culture and Politics, The University of Sheffield, UK

EAN: 9781137273154
ISBN: 1137273151
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Dimensions: 23 x 15 x 1 centimetres (0.32 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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