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A Study on Collaborators of Rapists: centering on Judges 21, 2 Samuel 13, and 16:20-23

  • Korean Journal of Old Testament Studies
  • Abbr : KJOTS
  • 2022, 28(1), pp.188-230
  • DOI : 10.24333/jkots.2022.28.1.188
  • Publisher : Korean Society of Old Testament Studies
  • Research Area : Humanities > Christian Theology
  • Received : January 29, 2022
  • Accepted : February 17, 2022

Hyo Myong Lim 1

1캠프 케이시 카투사 교회

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Cultural assumptions and androcentric ideologies held by the general public are often blamed for ever-increasing sexual violence. Those assumptions and ideologies lie hidden in narratives. I analyzes three narratives from the Hebrew Bible, in which collaborators of rapists are featured. The purposes of examining the stories are threefold: first, to uncover the narratological and theological strategies that lessen the criminality of sexual aggression against women, second, to warn readers and story-tellers, which include preachers, journalists, teachers and parents, against the toxicity of certain elements in stories, third, to necessitate the story-teller’s self-scrutiny. Utilizing feminist criticism, ideological criticism, deconstruction criticism, and narrative criticism, I attempt a close reading of the selected texts, focusing on their plot developments and characterizations. I argue that in terms of plot development and theology the stories are constructed in ways that make sexual violence be read as inevitable and unavoidable. This inevitability is forged as collaborators in the stories move the plots with androcentric cultural assumptions and ideologies combined with customs, laws, and systems. The collaborators are presented as benefactors, officials, or leaders who endeavor to preserve the status quo for the benefit of male protagonists. Anonymous female victims are objectified and silenced to the effect that readers find it hard to perceive them as persons and sympathize with their sufferings. Their characterization explains why their point of view is completely excluded. From these observations I aver that the author (historian) himself, who is standing outside the stories, collaborates with the rapists, which constitutes a grim warning to contemporary story-tellers. I build my reading upon readings of other scholars who read rape stories in the Hebrew Bible against the grain. I utilize the findings of my reading to further the argument for a responsible story-telling.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.

This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.