The Captivity of Innocence: Babel and the Yahwist

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Wipf and Stock Publishers, Apr 2, 2010 - Religion - 206 pages
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In this study-the third panel of a trilogy on J's tales about evil and innocence in the primeval era-the author turns to Genesis 11:1-9, another parable, this time on the so-called Tower of Babel. The Captivity of Innocence analyzes a systemic robotization of society as a way of keeping innocence behind bars, contending that innocence never fails to offend, never fails to stir envy and hate. Here, evil is not wrought by an individual like Cain or Lamech, but by all the earth, so that the summit of evil is now reached before Abraham's breakthrough in Genesis' following chapter. The present analysis uses a variety of techniques to interpret the biblical text, including historical-critical, literary, sociopolitical, psychoanalytic, and deconstructive approaches. The inescapable conclusion is that Babel is the Kafkaesque image of our world and is a powerful paradigm of our hubristic contrivances and constructions-Des Tours de Babel, says Derrida-in order to deny our finiteness. Then innocence is trampled upon, but it is not overcome: Babel/Babylon's fate is to crumble down, and to bring up from her ashes the Knight of Faith.
  

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Contents

Construction
25
The Story of Babel as MythTradition History
69
19
89
Translation
127
Conclusion
157
Index ofNames
179
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Andr LaCocque is Professor Emeritus of Old Testament at Chicago Theological Seminary. He is the author of The Trial of Innocence and Onslaught against Innocence (Cascade Books); The Feminine Unconventional; Romance, She Wrote; Esther Regina; and a commentary on Ruth. He is also the coauthor (with Paul Ricoeur) of Thinking Biblically: Exegetical and Hermeneutical Studies.

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