Scrolls of Love: Ruth and the Song of Songs by Lesleigh Cushing Stahlberg, Peter S. Hawkins

By Lesleigh Cushing Stahlberg, Peter S. Hawkins

Scrolls of affection is a publication of unions. Edited by way of a Jew and a Christian who're united via a shared ardour for the Bible and a typical literary hermeneutic, it joins biblical scrolls and gathers round them a various group of interpreters. It brings jointly Ruth and the tune of Songs, likely disparate texts of the Hebrew Bible, and reads them via the various methodological and theological views. Respectful of conventional biblical scholarship, the gathering of essays strikes past it; alert to modern tendencies, the amount returns venerable interpretive culture to heart level. most importantly, it really is interfaith. although Jews and Christians percentage a typical textual content within the Hebrew Scripture, the 2 groups have learn their Bibles in isolation from each other, in lack of understanding of the richness of the other's traditions of examining. Scrolls of affection brings the 2 traditions into discussion, enriching demonstrated modes of interpretation with unconventional ones. the result's a quantity that units rabbinic, patristic, and medieval readings along feminist, psychoanalytic, and autobiographical ones, combining ancient, literary, and textual feedback with quite a few creative reinterpretations-wood cuts and paper cuts, poetry and fiction. a number of the works are scholarly, with the considered necessary footnotes to attract readers to extra inquiry: others are extra reflective than analytic, permitting readers to work out what it skill to dwell in detail with Scripture. As a solidarity, the gathering offers Ruth and tune of Songs not just as historical texts that should be precious yet as previous worlds able to begetting the new.

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Extra info for Scrolls of Love: Ruth and the Song of Songs

Sample text

What stopped my student is something he was still not quite used to: that normal word order in Hebrew is the noun followed by the modifying adjective. As a result, the reader or hearer knows the sons took wives just a millisecond before she knows what kind of wives they took. After all, they might have married other Israelites in exile, since presumably more than one family fled “famine in the land” of Canaan (1:1). The identity of the wives is important, because Israel was an endogamous society, and the biblical writers especially disapproved of Moabite marriage partners.

Esed enter the picture and shape it from the outset. esed with you, as you have done with the dead and with me” (1:8). Ruth is indeed the still small voice in the canon; all its literary effects are subtle. This blessing by Naomi of her “bride-daughters” (kallote¯ha) affords the first delicate surprise in the book. H . esed, the foundational virtue of Israelite community and culture, enters the story from what is, biblically speaking, an unlooked-for direction: from the East, from Moab. You will recall that everywhere else in the Bible, Moabites are well known to be heathen no-goodniks.

5 The teller of the tale also succeeded in making Ruth a heroic figure, although clearly not on the martial model presented by Judith, or before her, by Miriam, Deborah, or Yael. Ruth’s heroism is of another kind. Apart from Ruth, Naomi would be without support, without property of her own, without purpose in life—dead wood. “Call me Mara [Bitter],” she says on her way back to Bethlehem. By bringing together “Jewess” and “Moabitess,” the author joins mutually exclusive terms. She asks us to think the unthinkable, to enter into the world of paradox.

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