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Lecture: “Violence in the Ancient Jewish Novellas: Judith and Aseneth as Models of Response towards Violence.”
September 14, 2017 at 7:15 pm - 8:15 pm
The ancient Jewish novellas (Esther, Daniel, Tobit, Judith, and Joseph and Aseneth) are a group of texts distinct for their depiction of exciting adventures, inner thoughts, heightened emotions, and prominence of female characters. All of the Jewish novellas also recount instances of perceived or threatened violence by foreign enemies against the Israelite heroes or their communities that feature within these literary works. In the case of the book of Judith and the story of Joseph and Aseneth, the community is ultimately delivered from suffering further harm through the mediation of violence by their heroines. This lecture will examine how the heroines of Judith and Joseph and Aseneth respond to communal acts of violence, and, by extension, how the Jewish novellas offer differing understandings regarding the relationship between women, violence, and virtue.