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Jill Hicks-Keeton, ”The Fantasy of ‘the Bible’ in the Museum of the Bible and Academic Biblical Studies,” 1–18

KEYWORDS: Metacriticism; Museums; Museum of the Bible; Evangelicalism; Green family; Hobby Lobby; Scripturalisation

“The Bible” does not exist as material reality, and yet as a cultural icon “the Bible” animates institutions and enterprises devoted to it. This article assesses the short history of scholarship on one such institution, the controversial Museum of the Bible (MOTB) in Washington, D.C., in order to highlight and critique the fantasy of “the Bible” in academic biblical studies. I argue that while the MOTB provides a productive site for public scholarship on the Bible, it further functions as a mirror of the historic preoccupations of the guild of professional biblical scholars that reflects back to us the problems associated with our own fabrications of an iconic yet immaterial Bible.

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Rebekah Welton, “Yahweh the Wrathful Vintner: Blood and Wine-making Metaphors in Isaiah 49:26a and 63:6,” 19–41.

KEYWORDS: Isaiah; Wine; Metaphor; Drunkenness; Blood; Israel; Viticulture; Winemaking; Fermentation

This article reassesses the metaphors found in Isa 49.26a and 63.6 in their historical and socio-religious context of alcohol production. Using interdisciplinary approaches from archaeology and anthropology, traditional interpretations that have emphasised a context of alcohol consumption and drunkenness, rather than wine production, are countered. I argue that these grape treading images, which also evoke blood imagery, focus upon the transformation of grape juice into wine and invoke the notion of divine participation in the production of alcohol. The transformation of the blood of Israel’s enemies is the punishment that Yahweh is imagined to carry out in these scenes, rather than inflicting drunkenness on them.

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Jamie Davies, “Reading the Apocalypse with Christopher Nolan: Story and Narrative, Time and Space,” 42–58.

KEYWORDS: Revelation; Film; Christopher Nolan; Time; Space; Nonlinear Narratives

This essay examines the Book of Revelation in dialogue with the films of Christopher Nolan, with particular attention to the use of nonlinear narrative. The approach taken to Nolan’s work is that of auteur theory, a pattern theory which traces the distinctive technical and artistic voice of the director across a wide range of films (e.g. Memento, The Prestige, Inception, Dunkirk). Insights from this analysis are brought into conversation with Revelation which also, it is argued, employs a temporally-disrupted nonlinear narrative structure. Particular attention is then given to the themes of time and space in Nolan’s Interstellar and the motif of heavenly ascent in Revelation and other apocalyptic literature.

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Sébastien Doane, “Affective Resistance to Sirach’s Androcentric Presentation of a Daughter’s Body,” 59–81.

KEYWORDS: Affect theory; Sirach; Gynophobia; Father-daughter; Reader-response

This article concentrates on the affective impacts of the relationship between the bodies of the father and his daughter in Sirach. It relies on gender studies as well as affect theory to explore how intensities pass from body to body in the biblical text, and also to the bodies of those who read it. The father’s body is marked by gynophobic anxiety about his daughter that causes him to lose sleep, and by fear of being ridiculed by other men (Sir 42:9–11). He recommends controlling his daughter’s body and not radiating joy toward her (Sir 7:24–25). From her birth, a girl is considered a loss for her father and can bring shame and disgrace (Sir 22:3–5). Sir 26:10–12 presents the daughter’s body as an abject, marginalized and sexualized body designed to provoke disgust. This disgust did not cling to a real flesh and blood mother and daughter who participated in an empirical reading experience of these passages. Her emotional and bodily reactions went from anger to laughter, showing affective paths of resistance to Sirach’s androcentric presentation of a daughter’s body.

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