The Violent Gift: TraumaaCs Subversion of the Deuteronomistic HistoryaCs Narrative by David Janzen, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
The Violent Gift: TraumaaCs Subversion of the Deuteronomistic HistoryaCs Narrative

The Violent Gift: TraumaaCs Subversion of the Deuteronomistic HistoryaCs Narrative

by David Janzen
     
 

The Violent Gift traces the narrative of the exilic author of the Deuteronomistic History, a narrative that provides an explanation for the trauma that the Judean community in Babylon suffered. As the book follows this explanation through the History, however, it also reads Dtr through the lens of trauma theory. Massive psychic trauma is not something that

Overview

The Violent Gift traces the narrative of the exilic author of the Deuteronomistic History, a narrative that provides an explanation for the trauma that the Judean community in Babylon suffered. As the book follows this explanation through the History, however, it also reads Dtr through the lens of trauma theory. Massive psychic trauma is not something that can be captured within narrative explanation, and trauma intrudes into the narrative's explanation of the exiles' trauma. Trauma challenges the claims upon which the narrative's explanation is based, thus subverting this attempt to make sense of the exile.

The author argues that we can trace a single, coherent narrative throughout the Deuteronomistic History that is an attempt to explain to its original readers why the exile occurred. The narrative offers two reasons for the exile, and these form the two main themes of Dtr's narrative: the people failed in their covenantal loyalty to God; and their leadership also failed to enforce this loyalty. These themes can be traced consistently through all of the component books of the History.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Janzen states that the traumatic events of the siege of Jerusalem and the exile that followed it are not marginal to the Deuteronomistic History but are at its core. He then shows how this is the case in two radically different ways. First, he maintains that Deuteronomy is an exilic work written by a survivor of the tragedy or an immediate descendant of a survivor. Second, he argues that it was actually trauma that shaped the reports, not memory. In Chapter Two Janzen provides an explanation of trauma theory. He then employs this theory as he moves through each book of Deuteronomy, explaining how trauma interrupts and subverts the logic of the narrative. This is a very critical study, dense and detailed in its explanation. However, it opens this section of the Old Testament in a very interesting way. Those who work through it carefully will be well rewarded.” —Bible Today
Bible Today

Janzen states that the traumatic events of the siege of Jerusalem and the exile that followed it are not marginal to the Deuteronomistic History but are at its core. He then shows how this is the case in two radically different ways. First, he maintains that Deuteronomy is an exilic work written by a survivor of the tragedy or an immediate descendant of a survivor. Second, he argues that it was actually trauma that shaped the reports, not memory. In Chapter Two Janzen provides an explanation of trauma theory. He then employs this theory as he moves through each book of Deuteronomy, explaining how trauma interrupts and subverts the logic of the narrative. This is a very critical study, dense and detailed in its explanation. However, it opens this section of the Old Testament in a very interesting way. Those who work through it carefully will be well rewarded.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780567436924
Publisher:
Bloomsbury Academic
Publication date:
03/08/2012
Series:
Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies Series, #561
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

David Janzen is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at North Central College in Illinois.

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