The Violent Gift: TraumaaCs Subversion of the Deuteronomistic HistoryaCs Narrative

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 ...

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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.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

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

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Introduction: The trauma of destruction and exile and its absence and presence in the Deuteronomistic History A. The trauma of exile and destruction B. Trauma's absence and presence in Dtr

Chapter 2. The unity and exilic dating of the Deuteronomistic History A. The redactional school of Frank Cross B. The redactional school of Rudolf Smend C. Arguments for multiple pre-exilic editions D. The existence of the Deuteronomistic History E. Conclusion: The unity and exilic dating of Dtr

Chapter 3. Trauma theory and its application to the study of the Deuteronomistic History A. The study of trauma in mental health fields B. The literary study of trauma C. Trauma and the master narrative of the Deuteronomistic History

Chapter 4. Deuteronomy: The uncanny beginning of trauma A. Law and leadership: Dtr's master narrative in Deuteronomy B. The uncanny beginning of trauma

Chapter 5. Joshua: Divine abandonment and sacrifice of Israel A. The master narrative: Israel's land and Joshua's failure B. The traumatic intrusions: The failure of God and the sacrifice of Israel

Chapter 6. Trauma and tragedy: Judges and the Jephthah narrative A. The master narrative in Judges: Israel's cultic and leadership failures B. Trauma as the essence of history in Judges C. The intersection of tragedy and trauma in the Jephthah story

Chapter 7. Samuel: The traumatic triumph of injustice A. The master narrative: Failures of leadership B. God, Saul, and Israel: A traumatic rejection of justice C. God and David: The traumatic triumph of injustice

Chapter 8. Kings: The end of narrative A. Dtr's master narrative and its collapse in Kings B. The traumatic end of narrative in Kings

Chapter 9. Conclusion: Trauma and the questioning of Dtr's narrative

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