By Rhiannon Graybill
Are We no longer males? offers an leading edge method of gender and embodiment within the Hebrew Bible, revealing the male physique as a resource of power trouble for the Hebrew prophets. Drawing jointly key moments in prophetic embodiment, Graybill demonstrates that the prophetic physique is a queer physique, and its very instability makes attainable new understandings of biblical masculinity. Prophecy disrupts the functionality of masculinity and calls for new methods of inhabiting the physique and negotiating gender.
Graybill explores prophetic masculinity via severe readings of a couple of prophetic our bodies, together with Isaiah, Moses, Hosea, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel. as well as shut readings of the biblical texts, this account engages with glossy intertexts drawn from philosophy, psychoanalysis, and horror motion pictures: Isaiah meets the poetry of Anne Carson; Hosea is obvious during the lens of ownership movies and feminist movie concept; Jeremiah intersects with psychoanalytic discourses of tension; and Ezekiel encounters Daniel Paul Schreber's Memoirs of My anxious Illness. Graybill additionally bargains a cautious research of the physique of Moses. Her equipment spotlight unforeseen positive factors of the biblical texts, and light up the extraordinary intersections of masculinity, prophecy, and the physique in and past the Hebrew Bible. This meeting of prophets, our bodies, and readings makes transparent that getting to prophecy and to prophetic masculinity is a vital activity for queer analyzing. Biblical prophecy engenders new different types of masculinity and embodiment; Are We no longer Men?offers a worthy map of this still-uncharted terrain.
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Extra info for Are we not men?: unstable masculinity in the Hebrew prophets
At the end of Deuteronomy, Moses is buried “in the land of Moab, opposite Beth-â•‰ peor, and no one knows his burial place to this day” (Deut. 34:6). In describing Moses’ death, the text also goes to pains to underscore his vitality: “Moses was one hundred twenty years old when he died; his sight was unimpaired and his vigor had not abated” (34:7). Moses’ body, subjected to so many pains and difficulties in his life, is returned to wholeness in the account of his death. 42 This body is not a terrifying body or a body marked as Other, but a body that fits a cultural ideal of masculine embodiment.
The prophet is at once powerful and powerless, an architect and an instrument â•‡ 31 The Materiality of Moses 31 of the victory. At the same time, the power of Moses is also what undercuts his masculinity. The Body Radiant and Veiled The scale disease that Moses experiences in his call story is a temporary affliction. Though it prefigures the transformations, both physical and social, that prophecy will bring upon Moses, it does not permanently alter his body. And yet prophecy does have permanent bodily consequences.
Insofar as identity is predicated on a solid, impermeable masculinity, it too is threatened by the opening of the body. This threat also contains the possibility for new forms of masculinity to emerge. Insisting upon the fluidity of the male body counters a masculinity predicated on borders, separations, and a repudiation of the feminine. Instead, the open, fluid body may become a queer prophetic body. Without appropriating the bodies of women—â•‰a risk at multiple points in biblical attempts to rethink masculinity—â•‰it envisions another sort of masculine embodiment as possible.
Are we not men?: unstable masculinity in the Hebrew prophets by Rhiannon Graybill