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The Structure of Abrahamic Cycle, 'Bloody-Awful Husband', Sarah's Bitter Laughter

Kee, Min Suc 1

1침례신학대학교

Candidate

ABSTRACT

In the present article I will argue that the feminist criticism of the scripture, which has been well neglected in the conservative environ- ment of Christian seminaries, could harmonize with the canonical criti- cism popularly practised, in contrast, in the same context. I specifically read, in a literary and reader-responding method, the Abrahamic Cycle (Gen 12-25) from the perspective of Sarah, Abraham's first wife. There have been many feminist readings of it from Sarah's point of view, but I, particularly, construct the structure of the cycle from her standpoint. In the end I will argue what picture of Sarah could be drawn in the structure and how the 'broken world', envisaged by Sarah's reading, could have a canonical significance. In other words, I am going to sug- gest how, above all for Sarah, the 'unfaithful' behaviour of her husband Abraham, 'a man of faith' in irony, and the tyrannical deeds of her husband's God YHWH could be understood as an integrating part of our Canon. The 'figure' of Abraham and his God in the cycle is read as 'absurd' especially in its feministic reading. This embarrassment in fact corres- ponds to the scepticism that is being nurtured within the scripture, mainly implied in its wisdom tradition. As the divine history is unfolding, a human being is not supposed to stand as a hero but only God's sincerity carrying out his own promises as a highlight. And, since God is revealed as absurd as hard to be accepted by, at least, Sarah a woman, it challenges our overdosed optimism or 'arrogance' that we are able to 'understand' God. Hence, 'Sarah's reading' could suggest that a feminist reading of the scripture could get along well with the so-called canonical reading of it.

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