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Terror All Around The Rhetoric of Horror in the Book of Jeremiah by Amy Kalmanofsky

Terror All Around The Rhetoric of Horror in the Book of Jeremiah

Part of the The Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies Series


Terror All Around The Rhetoric of Horror in the Book of Jeremiah by Amy Kalmanofsky

Amy Kalmanofsky applies horror theory to the book of Jeremiah and considers the nature of biblical horror and the objects that provoke horror, as well as the ways texts like Jeremiah work to elicit horror from their audience.Among the many strategies of persuasive speech, biblical prophets often employ a rhetoric of horror. Prophets use verbal threats and graphic images of destruction to terrify their audience. Contemporary horror theory provides insight into the rhetoric of horror employed by the prophets.Kalmanofsky begins by analyzing the emotional response of horror as reflected in characters' reactions to terrifying entities in the book of Jeremiah . Horror, she concludes, is a composite emotion consisting of fear in response to a threatening entity and a corresponding response of shame either directed toward one's self or felt on behalf of another. Having considered the nature of horror, she turns to the objects that elicit horror and consider their ontological qualities and the nature of the threat they pose.There are two central monstrous figures in the book of Jeremiah - aggressor God and defeated Israel. Both of these monsters refuse to be integrated into and threaten to disintegrate the expected order of the universe. She then presents a close, rhetorical reading of Jeremiah 6 and consider the way this text works to horrify its audience. The book concludes by considering fear's place within religious experience and the theological implications of a rhetoric that portrays God and Israel as monsters.Over the last 30 years this pioneering series has established an unrivalled reputation for cutting-edge international scholarship in Biblical Studies and has attracted leading authors and editors in the field. The series takes many original and creative approaches to its subjects, including innovative work from historical and theological perspectives, social-scientific and literary theory, and more recent developments in cultural studies and reception history.


. ..a fresh perspective on the prophetic oracles in the book of Jeremiah... Expository Times, December 2009 'The volume's interdisciplinary nature, which does not neglect possible theological implications, will benefit both students and scholars, especially those interested in the rhetorical study of the prophets and/or the use of postmodernist literary theory.'--Sanford Lakoff

About the Author

Amy Kalmanofsky is Assistant Professor of Bible at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America.

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Book Info

Publication date

15th June 2008


Amy Kalmanofsky

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T.& T.Clark Ltd an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing PLC


176 pages


Biblical studies & exegesis



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