Abstract and Keywords
This chapter explores the concept of Otherness in the composition and hermeneutics of biblical narrative. It argues that throughout history human discourse has used otherness to construct identity. In the late twentieth century, Otherness was theorized as an explicit interpretive category drawing on feminist/gender, race/ethnic, and cultural studies. Practitioners foregrounded the presence of Others within the biblical narrative and assessed the politics and ethics of the use of the biblical text in othering Others. The Othered themselves became readers of Otherness within the texts. Homer’s Odyssey, the book of Esther, and the Gospel according to Mark illustrate these dynamics. All three betray ambivalence in the ethics of negotiating otherness: Homer in the construction of female identity; Esther in ethnic/religious identity under empire; and Mark in the ambiguity of power, silence, and voice, especially within the character of Jesus.
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