Biblical Narrative and the Death of the Rhapsode (Indiana Series in Biblical Literature)




Author: Professor Robert S. Kawashima
Type: eBook
Date Released: 2004
Format: pdf
Language: English
Page Count: 312
Isbn10 Code: 0253344778
Isbn13 Code: 9780253344779


Review "For many years now, biblical scholars have studied the literary qualities of the ancient texts. Adding astute insights to those of pioneering scholar Robert Alter, Kawashima (New York Univ.) offers a comparative study of Greek mythology and the Hebrew Bible, probing their relationship and looking at what the stories have in common and what kind of knowledge is required to span the gulf between them. The author argues that the essential difference between these two Mediterranean-centered foundation stories lies in the fact that one was oral, the other written. Part of the oral tradition, the Greek tales were recited on ceremonial occasions by a rhapsode (bardic minstrel), whose delivery depended on memory and personal style; each performance was novel and subjective. The biblical narratives, which tradition has it were brought back to the Holy Land from Babylonian exile by priest/scribe Ezra, were written texts that were read sequentially at public assemblies. Law prohibited change in the texts and thus fidelity marks their particular verbal art. Kawashima illuminates the two forms' literary elements—narrative, dialogue, repetition, characterization—as they have evolved into modern literature. This is a meticulously researched study, both demanding and rewarding. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper—division undergraduates and above." —M. Butovsky, emeritus, Concordia University, July 2005 (M. Butovsky, emeritus, Concordia University Choice 2005) About the Author Robert S. Kawashima is Dorot Assistant Professor and Faculty Fellow in the Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at New York University.

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