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Jephthah’s Daughter and Iphigeneia: Sacrifice of a Girl in an Intermediality

  • Korean Journal of Old Testament Studies
  • Abbr : KJOTS
  • 2022, 28(4), pp.159-184
  • DOI : 10.24333/jkots.2022.28.4.159
  • Publisher : Korean Society of Old Testament Studies
  • Research Area : Humanities > Christian Theology
  • Received : October 20, 2022
  • Accepted : November 19, 2022

LeeEunAe 1

1이화여자대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This paper studies the interrelationship between the story of Jephthah’s daughter in the Old Testament and the story of Iphigeneia in Greek tragedy from the perspective of a 'intermediality' in which various cultural media, including biblical text and ancient literature, theater, music, and art, influence each other through historical and social dialogue. Examining the change and mutual influence of the common theme of the sacrifice of a girl can find not only the meaning of the biblical text, but also the development and change of its interpretation according to changes in the times, society, and consciousness. A girl's sacrificial death went beyond her personal level and turned into a social and community meaning, passed down as a memory of various cultural forms, including text. As can be found in numerous versions and variations of Iphigenia text, have various interpretations of the Jephthah’s daughter text been made from antiquity to modernity. Namely it is said that Jephthah's daughter was not actually dead, or that she was dedicated to another god. Or it was interpreted that Jephthah was criticized, that his daughter became a victim herself, or that the community had enough mourning period for two months. This can be explained in connection with the psychological, social, and political intentions of relieving individual discomfort and community groups from guilt. The study of how to understand a girl's death through various media using her death motifs, from ancient times to medieval times to modern times, will also affect the study of biblical texts. Because language, media, human consciousness, and society are closely related to each other and influence each other. Biblical narratives found in various media such as various literature, theater, art, and music can show various understandings and influences of the Bible text and expand into academic convergence research.

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.