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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

History through Trauma: History and Counter-history in the Hebrew Bible
Houck-Loomis, Tiffany

Eugene, OR: Pickwick, 2018 pp. x + 238. $30.00


Description: Our sacred texts have the potential to become texts of torture or texts of liberation. History through Trauma explores the symbolic function of religious, political, and national symbols that aid in the construction of historical narratives, and the psychological effects of trauma on their creation and dissolution. The Deuteronomic Covenant, paramount in the construction of a biblical history of Israel, is analyzed with regard to Israel's history of exile. What is proffered is the book of Job as a symbolic history of Israel that stands as a counter-history beside the dominant history constructed in the canon's historical books--a counter-history whose function works to re-enliven the symbol of covenant. History through Trauma brings consciousness to the effects of exile on the dominant historical narratives in the Hebrew canon and to the eradicated affective experiences of trauma that surface in counter-texts such as the book of Job. This work offers a valuable new understanding of the impact of trauma on history-making in general--an understanding that brings light to biblical studies, practical theology, pastoral psychology, and psychoanalysis.

Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Pentateuch, Deuteronomy, Historical Books, Wisdom Literature, Job, Literature, Methods, Literary Approaches, Social-Scientific Approaches, Psychology, Theological Approaches

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Review by Elizabeth Boase
Published 7/11/2019
Citation: Elizabeth Boase, review of Tiffany Houck-Loomis, History through Trauma: History and Counter-history in the Hebrew Bible, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2019).


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