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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:54477
Doc. No:TL24431
Call number:‭3184359‬
Main Entry:Jeremy Schipper
Title & Author:“Why do you still speak of your affairs?”: Mephibosheth, disability, and national identity in the David storyJeremy Schipper
College:Princeton Theological Seminary
Date:2005
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2005
Page No:224
Abstract:Often, interpreters of the Deuteronomistic History (DH) overlook its complex use of disability imagery. They frequently understand this imagery as having only rather transparent meanings. Through a close study of Mephibosheth's character in the David Story (1 Sam 16–1 Kgs 2), this project argues that the DH employs disability imagery as a mode of subtle reflection that helps to organize various ideological positions regarding national identity. The first two chapters show that the DH's disability imagery is a thick motif that demands more critical engagement than it typically receives. Chapter 1 highlights the complexities of the imagery. It reviews Mephibosheth's story, provides a reading strategy for the David Story, introduces the field of disability studies and explains how it can inform this project. Chapter 2 reviews the history of Mephibosheth's interpretation to demonstrate how interpreters read disability as an ideologically loaded conceptual category, rather than a disinterested physical description. Many interpreters use disability as an exegetical tool to access characters' inner motives by assigning non-inherent, symbolic meanings to a physical trait. Chapters 3 and 4 examine critically the DH's rhetorical use of disability as a means of narrating and interpreting various ideological positions. Chapter 3 employs comparative ancient Near Eastern evidence to reconstruct some cultural ideologies of physical difference encoded in the David Story's characters. It examines how the story both reflects and complicates ancient Near Eastern ideologies of disability and kingship in order to develop various viewpoints on Israelite identity. Chapter 4 provides a reading of Mephibosheth. It argues that he is not just the product of cultural ideologies encoded in his character. Rather, as the narrative openly develops his character, it resists flat stereotypes of disability and uses this imagery to give nuance to its discourse on identity. It destabilizes seemingly simple oppositions between David and Mephibosheth, ability and disability, insiders and outsiders. A complex image of Israel emerges that simultaneously advances and frustrates various ideological positions on Israelite identity and helps the DH to articulate Israel's possibilities and limitations. The fifth chapter summarizes this study's conclusions and draws out some of its theological implications.
Subject:Philosophy, religion and theology; David story; Deuteronomistic History; Disability; Kings 1; Mephibosheth; National identity; Samuel 2; Bible; 0321:Bible
Added Entry:D. Olson
Added Entry:Princeton Theological Seminary