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Woman’s Body and the Social Body in Hosea 1–2


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Keefe's analysis dismantles the androcentric and theological assumptions which have determined the dominant reading of Hosea's metaphor of Israel as the adulterous wife of God. It shows how the projection of symbolic associations of women with nature, sexual temptation and sin have anachronistically determined this metaphor as referring to Israel's apostasy in a lurid “fertility cult”. Against this reading, Keefe's study considers Hosea 1-2 in the context of the association of sexual transgression and social violence in biblical literature. In this light, Hosea's symbol of Israel as an adulterous woman is read as a commentary upon the structural violence in Israelite society which accompanied the eighth century boom in “agribusiness” and attendant processes of land consolidation.

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  • Contains premier research of the book of Hosea
  • Focuses on theological and historical ramifications of the text
  • Includes bibliography and notes to guide study
What distinguishes K.'s treatment of this theme from other feminist readings is her resolute effort to ground Hosea's choice of such imagery in the material realities of the eight century.

—Chris Seeman, Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 67, 2005

  • Title: Woman’s Body and the Social Body in Hosea 1–2
  • Author: Alice A. Keefe
  • Publisher: Sheffield
  • Publication Date: 2002
  • Pages: 252

Alice A. Keefe is Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point.


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    Digital list price: $34.99
    Save $9.00 (25%)