Biblical Performance Criticism

Orality, Memory, Translation, Rhetoric, Discourse, Drama

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Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Story of Naomi--The Book of Ruth

From Gender to Politics

By Terry Giles, William J. Doan

(Cascade, 2016)

The Story of NaomiThe book of Ruth is probably best known as a romantic love story that, through the expression of loving devotion, overcomes tragedy and ends with the founding of the most famous family in all of biblical Israel. But the book wasn't always this way. In fact, it wasn't a book at all but rather a story told with a very different purpose in mind. Before Ruth, there was the Story of Naomi, a subversive story designed to challenge a male-dominated status quo. Through comedy, sarcastic irony, and unparalleled rhetorical skill the Naomi storyteller holds up for inspection social gender roles and the power of sexuality in a manner that resonates yet today. The Story of Naomi--The Book of Ruth goes behind the literary rendition of the story and recaptures the original oral tale, with script and performance directions that brings to life the humor, tragedy, and transparent honesty shared between the Naomi storyteller and her audience.

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