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Are We Not Men?

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  • Author(s)Rhiannon Graybill
  • SubtitleUnstable Masculinity in the Hebrew Prophets
  • Edition
  • Published9th February 2017
  • PublisherOxford University Press USA
  • ISBN9780190227364

Unstable Masculinity in the Hebrew Prophets

Are We Not Men? offers an innovative approach to gender and embodiment in the Hebrew Bible, revealing the male body as a source of persistent difficulty for the Hebrew prophets. Drawing together key moments in prophetic embodiment, Graybill demonstrates that the prophetic body is a queer body, and its very instability makes possible new understandings of biblical masculinity. Prophecy disrupts the performance of masculinity and demands new ways of
inhabiting the body and negotiating gender. Graybill explores prophetic masculinity through critical readings of a number of prophetic bodies, including Isaiah, Moses, Hosea, Jeremiah, and
Ezekiel. In addition to close readings of the biblical texts, this account engages with modern intertexts drawn from philosophy, psychoanalysis, and horror films: Isaiah meets the poetry of Anne Carson; Hosea is seen through the lens of possession films and feminist film theory; Jeremiah intersects with psychoanalytic discourses of hysteria; and Ezekiel encounters Daniel Paul Schreber's Memoirs of My Nervous Illness. Graybill also offers a careful analysis of the body of Moses. Her methods
highlight unexpected features of the biblical texts, and illuminate the peculiar intersections of masculinity, prophecy, and the body in and beyond the Hebrew Bible. This assembly of prophets, bodies, and
readings makes clear that attending to prophecy and to prophetic masculinity is an important task for queer reading. Biblical prophecy engenders new forms of masculinity and embodiment; Are We Not Men?offers a valuable map of this still-uncharted terrain.
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