Resurrection and the Restoration of Israel: The Ultimate Victory of the God of Life

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Yale University Press, 2006 - Religion - 274 pages
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Many famous antique texts are misunderstood and many others have been completely dismissed, all because the literary style in which they were written is unfamiliar today. So argues Mary Douglas in this controversial study of ring composition, a technique which places the meaning of a text in the middle, framed by a beginning and ending in parallel. To read a ring composition in the modern linear fashion is to misinterpret it, Douglas contends, and today's scholars must reevaluate important antique texts from around the world. Found in the Bible and in writings from as far a field as Egypt, China, Indonesia, Greece, and Russia, ring composition is too widespread to have come from a single source. Does it perhaps derive from the way the brain works? What is its function in social contexts? The author examines ring composition, its principles and functions, in a cross-cultural way. She focuses on ring composition in Homer's Iliad, the Bible's book of Numbers, and, for a challenging modern example, Laurence Sterne's Tristram Shandy, developing a persuasive argument for reconstruing famous books and rereading neglected ones.
 

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Contents

1 The Modern Jewish Preference for Immortality
1
2 Resurrection in the Torah?
23
3 Up from Sheol
35
4 Are Abraham Moses and Job in Sheol?
67
5 Intimations of Immortality
82
6 Individual Mortality and Familial Resurrection
108
7 The Man of God Performs a Resurrection
123
8 Death Be Broken
133
10 Israels Exodus from the Grave
156
11 The Fact of Death and the Promise of Life
166
12 He Keeps Faith with Those Who Sleep in the Dust
181
13 Gods Ultimate Victory
201
The Two Horns of the Ram
217
Notes
231
Index of Ancient Sources
263
Index of Authors
273

9 The Widow ReWed Her Children Restored
142

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