Reading Phinehas, Watching Slashers: Horror Theory and Numbers 25 (Hardback)
  • Reading Phinehas, Watching Slashers: Horror Theory and Numbers 25 (Hardback)
zoom

Reading Phinehas, Watching Slashers: Horror Theory and Numbers 25 (Hardback)

(author)
£70.00
Hardback 228 Pages / Published: 20/03/2018
  • We can order this

Usually dispatched within 3 weeks

  • This item has been added to your basket
The tale of the "zeal" of Phineas, expressed when he killed an Israelite man and a Midianite woman having sex and thus stopped a "plague" of consorting with idolatrous neighbors in the Israelite camp (Numbers 25), has long attracted both interest and revulsion. Scholars have sought to defend the account, to explain it as pious fiction, or to protest its horrific violence. Brandon R. Grafius seeks to understand how the tale expresses the latent anxieties of the Israelite society that produced it, combining the insights of historical criticism with those of contemporary horror and monster theory. Grafius compares Israelite anxieties concerning ethnic boundaries and community organization with similar anxieties apparent in horror films of the 1980s, then finds confirmation for his method in the responses of Roman-period readers who reacted to the tale of Phineas as a tale of horror. The combination of methods allows Grafius to illumine the concern of an ancient priestly class to control unsettled and unsettling community boundaries--and to raise questions of implications for our own time.

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 9781978701205
Number of pages: 228
Weight: 522 g
Dimensions: 239 x 156 x 24 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Grafius applies horror theory to Numbers 25 with the skill and expertise of a knife-wielding villain in a slasher movie to reveal new psychological, emotional, and literary dimensions of this bloody biblical story. This is a thorough, novel, and illuminating study that complements and enriches classical understandings of and methodological approaches to the Phinehas story. Grafius demonstrates how horror theory is an invaluable tool for excavating layers of meaning within biblical texts, while exposing a core component of this narrative that feels integral to it and, no doubt, to many other biblical texts. Combining depth and originality, expertise and creativity, this study is an important contribution to the field of biblical studies. -- Amy Kalmanofsky, The Jewish Theological Seminary
This is a very interesting and innovative attempt to deal with a problematic biblical text. On the one hand, the author does not flinch from its problematic nature. On the other, he offers a sophisticated modern way of appreciating the mentality that underlies it in a sympathetic way. -- John J. Collins, Yale Divinity School
This book represents what is truly emerging within biblical studies-a creative engagement with one of the Hebrew Bible's most ethically problematic texts, drawing from traditional methods yet transversing disciplinary boundaries to reap the benefits of horror theory, psychoanalysis, violence studies, reception history, and even film studies. Here is a testament to how the interdisciplinary nature of today's biblical scholarship can set aside old rivalries among presumably competing methods in favor of a more fully orbed-often unwieldy and unfinalized, but always meaningful-reading of biblical texts. -- Brad E. Kelle, Point Loma Nazarene University
Brandon R. Grafius combines multiple forms of biblical criticism (historical and rhetorical) with horror theory to argue that Numbers 25 is the biblical version of a modern-day horror film. Phinehas becomes the avenging, monstrous slasher, restoring order through violence. Grafius has written a thoughtful work of scholarship that entertains as it informs. -- Stacy Davis, St. Mary's College

You may also be interested in...

From Eden To Exile
Added to basket
£10.99
Paperback
Mark's Gospel (NIV)
Added to basket
£1.00
Paperback
Mark's Gospel
Added to basket
£1.00
Paperback
Exodus
Added to basket
£7.50
Paperback
Unlocking the Bible
Added to basket
£12.99
Paperback
New Catholic Bible
Added to basket
The Unauthorized Version
Added to basket
Simply Jesus
Added to basket
£9.99
Paperback
The Bible Jesus Read
Added to basket
The Torah
Added to basket
£29.99
Hardback
The First Christmas
Added to basket
KJV Apocrypha Text Edition KJ530:A
Added to basket
The Bible: A Very Short Introduction
Added to basket
The Gospel of Mark
Added to basket
£1.00
Paperback

Reviews

Please sign in to write a review

Your review has been submitted successfully.