Disability Studies and the Hebrew Bible: Figuring Mephibosheth in the David Story
This unique interdisciplinary book uses a fresh approach to explore issues of disability in the Hebrew Bible. It examines how disability functions in the David Story (1 Samuel 16; 1 Kings 2) by paying special attention to Mephibosheth, the only biblical character with a disability as a sustained character trait. The David Story contains some of the Bible's most striking images of disability.
Nonetheless, interpreters tend to focus on legal material rather than narratives when studying disability in the Hebrew Bible. Often, they neglect the David Story's complex use of disability. They overlook its use of disability imagery as open to critical interpretation because its stereotypical meanings may seem so commonplace and transparent. Yet recent work in the burgeoning field of disability studies presents disability as a complicated motif that demands more critical engagement than it typically receives.
Informed by exciting developments in the field, it argues that the David Story employs disability imagery as a subtle mode of narrating and organizing various ideological positions regarding national identity.
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Absalom ancient Near East ancient Near Eastern appears argues Assyrian Biblical Hebrew blind Book of Samuel books of Kings bosheth Brueggemann Chapter characterization complex conceptual category crippled cultural David Story David's house Deuteronomistic History disability imagery disability scholars disability studies discourse divine Edited Egyptian Eiesland encoded example Hebrew Bible house of Saul ideal idem ideological illness images of disability Ishbosheth Israel Jehoiachin Jerusalem Jonathan JSOT Press JSOTSup King David kingship Kirta lame literary McCarter meanings Mephi Mephibosheth Mephibosheth's character Mephibosheth's disability Meribbaal Michal Mitchell and Snyder motifs Mursili II Narrative Prosthesis narrator noun pattern Old Testament omen series omens Pages physical difference political Polzin qittel pattern rabbis reader reading reflect Representations of Disability rhetoric royal Saul's house Saulide Second Samuel Sheffield Academic Press social Succession Narrative suggests summa izbu Ugaritic University Press verses Walter Brueggemann words Yhwh York Ziba Zion