Cover for NIDITCH: A Prelude to Biblical Folklore: Underdogs and Tricksters

A Prelude to Biblical Folklore

Underdogs and Tricksters

Linking Old Testament heroes to the legendary underdogs and tricksters of other cultures, the author shows how the ancient Israelites worldview and self image are reflected in the way biblical authors told their stories.

Treating Old Testament stories as the product of an oral traditional world, A Prelude to Biblical Folklore sets biblical narrative in a broad cross-cultural context and reveals much about the richness and complexity of the ancient Israelite civilization that produced it.

Using a unique combination of biblical scholarship and folklore methodology, Susan Niditch tracks stories of biblical characters who become heroes against the odds, either through trickery or through native wisdom, physical prowess, and the help of human or divine agents. In this volume, originally published as Underdogs and Tricksters, Niditch examines three cross-sections of the Old Testament in detail: stories in Genesis in which patriarchs pretend that their wives are really their sisters; the contrasting stories of two younger sons, the trickster Jacob and the earnest underdog Joseph; and the story of Esther as a paradigm of feminine wisdom pitted against unjust authority.

Linking these Old Testament heroes to the legendary tricksters and underdogs of other cultures, Niditch shows how the Israelites' worldview and self-image are reflected in the way biblical authors tell their stories. Through a thoughtful analysis of style, content, narrative choices, and attitudes to issues of gender and political authority in biblical narrative, A Prelude to Biblical Folklore draws persuasive conclusions about the identity, location, and provenance of the stories' authors and their audiences.

To order online:
//www.press.uillinois.edu/books/catalog/25xpg4sy9780252068836.html

To order by phone:
(800) 621-2736 (USA/Canada)
(773) 702-7000 (International)

Related Titles

previous book next book
Traveling Home

Sacred Harp Singing and American Pluralism

Kiri Miller

Journal of American Folklore

Edited by Thomas A. DuBois and James P. Leary

Riders for God

The Story of a Christian Motorcycle Gang

Rich Remsberg

Give Me This Mountain

Life History and Selected Sermons

Reverend C. L. Franklin

The Bible Without Theology

The Theological Tradition and Alternatives to It

Robert A. Oden, Jr.

History of Paradise

The Garden of Eden in Myth and Tradition

Jean Delumeau

The Old German Baptist Brethren

Faith, Farming, and Change in the Virginia Blue Ridge

Charles D. Thompson Jr.

Ritual Medical Lore of Sephardic Women

Sweetening the Spirits, Healing the Sick

Isaac Jack Lévy and Rosemary Lévy Zumwalt