Art as Biblical Commentary: Visual Criticism from Hagar the Wife of Abraham to Mary the Mother of Jesus

Art as Biblical Commentary: Visual Criticism from Hagar the Wife of Abraham to Mary the Mother of Jesus

by J. Cheryl Exum

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Art as Biblical Commentary is not just about biblical art but, more importantly, about biblical exegesis and the contributions visual criticism as an exegetical tool can make to biblical exegesis and commentary. Using a range of texts and numerous images, J. Cheryl Exum asks what works of art can teach us about the biblical text. 'Visual criticism' is her term for an approach that addresses this question by focusing on the narrativity of images-reading them as if, like texts, they have a story to tell-and asking what light an image's 'story' can shed on the biblical narrator's story.

In Part I, Exum elaborates on her approach and offers a personal testimony to the value of visual criticism. Part 2 examines in detail the story of Hagar in Genesis 16 and 21. Part 3 contains chapters on erotic looking and voyeuristic gazing in the stories of Bathsheba, Susanna, Joseph and Potiphar's wife and the Song of Songs; on the distribution of renown among Jael, Deborah and Barak; on the Bible's notorious women, Eve and Delilah; and on the sacrificed female body in the stories of the Levite's wife (Judges 19) and Mary the mother of Jesus.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780567687852
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Publication date: 05/23/2019
Series: The Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 288
File size: 8 MB

About the Author

J. Cheryl Exum is Emeritus Professor of Biblical Studies at the University of Sheffield, UK.
J. Cheryl Exum is Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies at Sheffield University.

Table of Contents

List of Figures
Part I: Visual Criticism
1. Visual Criticism: Biblical Art as Biblical Commentary
2. The Blinded Samson and Scene from the Song of Songs: Paintings that Changed My Mind
Part II: Hagar
3. The Abjection of Hagar
4. The Rape of Hagar
5. The Theophanies to Hagar
Part III: From Eve to Mary
6. Erotic Look and Voyeuristic Gaze: Looking at the Body in the Bible and Art
7. Shared Glory: Salomon de Bray's Jael, Deborah and Barak
8. Notorious Biblical Women in Manchester: Spencer Stanhope's Eve and Frederick Pickersgill's Delilah
9. Ecce Mulier: The Levite's Wife, the Mother of Jesus, and the Sacrificial Female Body
Index of References
Index of Authors

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