University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Polygyny as Political Fiction in the Hebrew Bible.

Bigger, Stephen (2011) Polygyny as Political Fiction in the Hebrew Bible. In: Who do you think you are? Gender and the Transmission of Identity, August 11-13 2011, Oriental Institute, Oxford. (Submitted)

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This paper seeks to demonstrate the literary nature of these stories about polygyny, underpinned by the need for fictive kinship relationships in order to create and explain the political status quo after the Babylonian exile. It examines the stories about polygyny in Genesis as later means to create fictive identity. I examine the position of slave-wives and concubines in law and literature, and the use of harems as literary mimics of Persian rulers, to contrast history with fictional narrative. Through polygyny, the paper explores emerging national identities in the postexilic period, and how the ban on intermarriage at that time impacted on women and marriage. The social origins of polygyny are explored, and a new history of biblical polygyny reconstructed. Parallels are explored in the peoples studied by social anthropologists, and a methodology proposed for this.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: Old Testament, marriage, polygamy, polygyny, concubines
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BM Judaism
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BS The Bible
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
Divisions: College of Arts, Humanities and Education > School of Education
Depositing User: Stephen Bigger
Date Deposited: 18 Jul 2011 08:49
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2024 14:03

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