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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Aesthetics of Violence in the Prophets
O’Brien, Julia M. and Chris Franke, editors

New York: T&T Clark, 2010 pp. xii + 187. $110.00

Series Information
Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies, 517


Description: How do depictions of violence define boundaries between and within communities? What readers can and should readers make of the disturbing rhetoric of violent prophets? At the 2006 annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, the Prophetic Texts in their Ancient Contexts section devoted a session to the theme 'The Aesthetics of Violence'. Participants were invited to explore multiple dimensions of prophetic texts and their violent rhetoric. The results were rich- engaging discussion of violent images in ancient Near Eastern art and in modern film, as well as advancing our understanding of the poetic skill required for invoking terror through words. This volume collects those essays as well as others especially commissioned for its creation. As a collection, they address questions that are at once ancient and distressingly-modern: What do violent images do to us? Do they encourage violent behavior and/or provide an alternative to actual violence? How do depictions of violence define boundaries between and within communities? What readers can and should readers make of the disturbing rhetoric of violent prophets? Over the last 30 years this pioneering series has established an unrivaled reputation for cutting-edge international scholarship in Biblical Studies and has attracted leading authors and editors in the field. The series takes many original and creative approaches to its subjects, including innovative work from historical and theological perspectives, social-scientific and literary theory, and more recent developments in cultural studies and reception history.

Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Prophetic Literature, Literature

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Review by Lena-Sofia Tiemeyer
Published 1/17/2011
Citation: Lena-Sofia Tiemeyer, review of Chris Franke and Julia M. O’Brien, eds., Aesthetics of Violence in the Prophets, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2011).


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