By Rhiannon Graybill
Are We now not males? offers an cutting edge method of gender and embodiment within the Hebrew Bible, revealing the male physique as a resource of chronic hassle 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 serious readings of a few prophetic our bodies, together with Isaiah, Moses, Hosea, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel. as well as shut readings of the biblical texts, this account engages with smooth intertexts drawn from philosophy, psychoanalysis, and horror motion pictures: Isaiah meets the poetry of Anne Carson; Hosea is obvious during the lens of ownership motion pictures and feminist movie conception; Jeremiah intersects with psychoanalytic discourses of anxiety; and Ezekiel encounters Daniel Paul Schreber's Memoirs of My apprehensive Illness. Graybill additionally deals a cautious research of the physique of Moses. Her equipment spotlight unforeseen gains of the biblical texts, and remove darkness from the unusual 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 crucial activity for queer analyzing. Biblical prophecy engenders new varieties of masculinity and embodiment; Are We no longer Men?offers a priceless map of this still-uncharted terrain.
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Extra resources for Are we not men?: unstable masculinity in the Hebrew prophets
On the surface, this story of the battle with the Amalekites is one of passing weakness—Moses is able, with assistance, to lift his hands; the Israelites win their battle, and Moses commemorates the victory by erecting an altar. 29 Moses’ drooping arms suggest not just weakness but also emasculation. Furthermore, the prophet’s struggle to hold up his hands recalls his previous struggles with speech. 30 Furthermore, the text figures both problems as heaviness—first a heavy mouth and heavy tongue, now heavy (kᵉḇēḏı̂m) hands (Exod.
Read in this way, disability is neither secondary feature nor regrettable affliction. Instead, it is fundamental to prophecy. No longer is disability something to be corrected (as in the Bible’s own utopian visions, which promise an end to blindness, deafness, and other forms of disability, and which have been critiqued by disability studies readings for this reason); instead, it is helpful or even essential to prophecy’s function. The association of disability with the prophetic body, in turn, challenges the representations of both categories and pushing back against the normative.
In between these events, Moses’ life is threatened by Yahweh and saved by the blood of his son’s circumcision (4:24–26). He also channels divine power in battle, yet finds himself unable to hold up his own hands without assistance (17:11–12). At almost every moment that his body enters into the text, it is marked as somehow other. Moses’ body is at once glorious and insufficient, wounded and no one knows 24 24 are we not men? excessive, threatened and threatening. The difficulties he will experience as prophet—and for Moses, these difficulties are many—are written on his body.