Confronting Stories of Violence: A Dialogue between René Girard and the Hebrew Bible

Sallyanne Hart

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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This study aims to determine the contribution of René Girard’s theory concerning human violence and its relationship to religion by using it as a lens through which four stories from the Hebrew Scriptures are examined as two pairs. I have chosen to study the narrative concerning the story of the rape of the Levite’s concubine (Judges 19) alongside the aborted rape of Lot’s guests (Genesis 19:1–11), and the sacrifice of Jephthah’s daughter (Judges 11) alongside the story of the averted sacrifice of Isaac (Genesis 22:1–19). Studying paired texts that display great similarity of theme and language allows me to highlight the patterns they exhibit. Following careful analysis of the Hebrew texts, I scrutinise the stories using a combination of rhetorical and narrative criticisms and engage in a dialogical process that operates on several levels—between the scriptural texts and the Girardian hermeneutic, and between text and text. The theory of Girard thus serves to elucidate these narratives of violence, even as the narratives serve to evaluate the text-interpretive potential of the Girardian paradigm.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Charles Sturt University
  • Anstey, Matthew, Principal Supervisor
  • Mathews, Jeanette, Principal Supervisor
Award date06 Feb 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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