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date: 16 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The title of this chapter derives from Aboriginal elders, whose rich cultural tradition survives, not in written texts, such as the Bible, but in their remarkable ability to “read” the stories/Dreamings, songlines, spiritual presences, sacred sites, and laws “written” on the Australian landscape. Borrowing from this hermeneutical tradition, the chapter focuses on how the narrator of a biblical narrative “reads the landscape,” constructing, and relating characters to, the environment in the context of the plot and perspectives espoused in the plot. It explores the phenomenon of “place” as crucial for an appreciation of location in reading the environment and considers examples of “emplacement,” “displacement” and “re-placement” in key narratives of the Pentateuch. “Place” is ultimately where characters belong in the ecosystem of the narrative. By reading the landscape the chapter examines how the narrator constructs the environment in relation to the plot, characters, and the focus of the narrative.

Keywords: environment, land, landscape, Abraham narrative, Exodus narrative, wilderness narrative, place, emplacement, displacement, re-placement

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