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YHWH and Israel in the Book of Judges
An Object – Relations Analysis


Part of Society for Old Testament Study Monographs

  • Date Published: December 2018
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108476508

£ 75.00

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About the Authors
  • In the Book of Judges the narrator presents an image of the good parent YHWH whose enduring love and loyalty is offset by his wayward child Israel who defaults on the relationship repeatedly. Biblical scholars have largely concurred, demonstrating the many faults of Israel while siding with YHWH's privileged viewpoint. When object-relations theory (which examines how human beings relate to each other) is applied to Judges, a different story emerges. In its capacity to illuminate why and how relationships can be intense, problematic, rewarding, and enduring, object-relations theory reveals how both YHWH and Israel have attachment needs that are played out vividly in the story world. Deryn Guest reveals how its narrator engages in a variety of psychological strategies to mask suppressed rage as he engages in an intriguing but rather dysfunctional masochistic dance with a dominant deity who has reputation needs.

    • Provides concise overviews of key concepts and ideas in object-relations theory and how they can be applied to a biblical text
    • Demonstrates how key interests of traditional theologies can be critically explored through the psychological concepts of repression and splitting, attachment theory, and studies of the causes and effects of masochism
    • Opens a conversation with chaplains, ministers and theologians of the Hebrew Bible concerning the potential dangers of making biblical depictions of the YHWH/Israel relationship foundational for faith
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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2018
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108476508
    • length: 208 pages
    • dimensions: 223 x 144 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.38kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Problematic parenting: Donald Winnicott and the YHWH/Israel relationship
    2. Judges' cyclical framework and trauma theory
    3. YHWH and Israel in the 'Strange Situation': attachment theory and God-talk
    4. Israel's masochistic defence mechanism
    5. Conclusion: psychological theory and biblical hermeneutics.

  • Author

    Deryn Guest, University of Birmingham
    Deryn Guest is Senior Lecturer in Hermeneutics at the University of Birmingham. She is the author of When Deborah Met Jael (2005), Beyond Feminist Biblical Studies (2012), the founding co-editor of the best-selling The Queer Bible Commentary (2006), and co-author of Transgender, Intersex and Biblical Interpretation (2016).

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