By Laura Feldt
'The very good in non secular Narrative from Exodus to Elisha' examines the excellent array of marvels, monsters, and magic depicted within the Hebrew Bible. those tales - with the Exodus narrative at their centre - provide ambiguity and uncertainty, encouraging mirrored image and doubt up to trust and meaningfulness. Aiming to find - instead of clarify away - the ability of those tales, the publication argues for the necessity to contain destabilization, disorientation, and ambiguity extra strongly into theories of what spiritual narrative is and does.
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Extra resources for The Fantastic in Religious Narrative from Exodus to Elisha
Fischer’s point of departure is source criticism, but he uses this point of departure to argue in favour of reading Exodus 1–15 as a unitary, literary narrative. His reading is not a literary reading strictu senso, as it does not identify itself as such and scarcely refers to literary theory, and yet he seems to achieve a ‘literary’ result. 71 His object of study is Exodus 1–15, and he argues that Exodus 1–1572 is internally coherent (‘eine Treppe von Perikopen’; including Exod. 4:24–26, which von Rad excluded; von Rad 1973, 189–198, quoted from Fischer 1996) and connected by the problems/questions the text seeks to solve (Fischer 1996: 150–161, 171).
He is a sceptic with regard to the value of considering the fantastic elements as historical or to search for their rational basis: ‘It is, thus, a fundamental mistake to attempt to explain away the miraculous elements in the narrative or to decode them into a series of mundane, rationally comprehensible events’ (Johnstone 1990: 33). The attempt to understand Exodus as historiography destroys its uniqueness by rationalization, as when the numbers involved in the Exodus are scaled down, or when an alternative location for the crossing of the sea is located (Johnstone 1990: 20, 27– 28, 33).
10. Hume’s definition has been criticized by some as overly inclusive (Parrinder 1986). Yet, her claim is not that all literature is fantasy, only that most literature includes fantastic elements, even if some forms of literature are not best served by a fantasy-analysis (Hume 1984: 22). 11. See for instance Brian Malley’s study of contemporary, evangelical Bible use (Malley 2004). 12. Hume distinguishes four types based on their response to reality—Literature of illusion offers escape and gives comfort in another world (Hume 1984: 59–81), literature of vision and the literature of revision both aim at engaging the reader; one removes readers from a secure sense of reality and posits a new one for reflection (Hume 1984: 82–101), the other plans for the reader to actively engage with the new reality (Hume 1984: 102–123), literature of disillusion offers no alternative program for revision (Hume 1984: 124–143).