The story of Rahab (Joshua 2) has traditionally been interpreted as the account of a foreign woman and prostitute who changes the course of her life when she converts to Yahweh. In return for her faithful act of saving the spies sent by Joshua to search the land of Canaan, Rahab and her family obtain salvation once her city of Jericho is destroyed. The story of Jael (Judges 4:17-23) has commonly been read as Jael's violent act of killing Sisera, King Jabin's commander in chief, with a tent peg to his temple while he was asleep. Jael is perceived as someone who fails to fulfill the hospitality codes of her society. The story of Jephthah and his unnamed daughter (Judges 10:6-12:7) describes the tragic event in which Jephthah makes a foolish and horrible vow offering his innocent daughter in sacrifice to God. Typically this text is read as Jephthah being immensely irresponsible and his daughter being the poor victim who pays for her father's oath.
Cristina Garcia-Alfonso proposes that the stories of Rahab, Jael, and Jephthah can be particularly enriched and give hope to contemporary contexts of hardship when they are read through the Cuban notion of resolviendo (survival). Using narrative criticism along with different contemporary approaches to the texts including feminist and post-colonial approaches, Garcia-Alfonso's readings of the biblical narratives from a perspective of resolviendo offer insights in the struggle for survival many Cubans face today. Also explored are the implications that a reading through the notion of resolviendo or survival can have for other contexts in contemporary societies where survival is at stake.
Publisher: Peter Lang Publishing Inc
Number of pages: 119
Weight: 370 g
Dimensions: 230 x 160 mm
Edition: New edition
"This volume constitutes a highly creative and sophisticated exercise in cultural analysis of the Bible. Cristina Garcia-Alfonso brings together, through the theme of `resolviendo' or making do, the texts and contexts of antiquity and postmodernity. Garcia-Alfonso analyzes strategies of survival deployed in situations of extreme necessity by both women characters of the Hebrew Bible and women in her own social-cultural context in Cuba. Each level of inquiry is used to shed light upon the other. In the process the author has recourse to a keen theoretical and interdisciplinary foundation involving a variety of discourses - Hebrew Bible studies, feminist studies, social studies, and postcolonial studies. The result is not only sharp insight into the various texts and contexts in question but also a sharp sense of the impact of the various levels of analysis upon one another. A job well done, and a very fine addition to the ongoing development of cultural biblical studies." (Fernando F. Segovia, Oberlin Graduate Professor of New Testament and Early Christian Literature, Vanderbilt University)
"A first rate study, `Resolviendo' rereads three stories of women in the First Testament through the lived experience of a Cuban feminist biblical scholar. With Cristina Garcia-Alfonso as their guide, readers will discover fresh insights in both the stories and their biblical reading experiences: poignant and powerful." (Angela Bauer-Levesque, Harvey H. Guthrie Professor of Bible, Culture, and Interpretation, Episcopal Divinity School)