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date: 19 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The chapter examines Exodus as a story of adoption, counteradoption, and readoption, fueled by multiple consciousnesses about kinship relations at the crevices of political, ethnic, religious, and regional identities and transitions. Political transition defines Israel’s relation to Egypt; ethnic consciousness distinguishes between the Hebrews and other subgroups; religious consciousness straddles ancestral worship and allegiance to Yahweh; and regional consciousness transitions liberated/expulsed Israel toward an extraterritorial land by way of the wilderness. Because these consciousnesses do not exist as disjointed narrative tropes but as a cluster of identity and social markers, Exodus repeatedly constructs, deconstructs, and reconstructs narrative kinships that are familiar and alien. Read through the motifs of adoption, counteradoption, and readoption organized across institutional and geographical spaces, the exodus story develops a rich sense of layered consciousnesses, ranging from safety, belonging, and purpose to vulnerability, exposure, and alienation to reconstructions and reimaginations of fractured memories.

Keywords: Exodus, kinship, adoption, counteradoption, readoption, ethnic, expulsion, alienation, wilderness, memory

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