Peforming Habakkuk: Faithful re-enactment in the midst of crisis

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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    Abstract

    This thesis applies performance critical methodology to the book of Habakkuk in the Hebrew Bible, drawing on literature from the multi-disciplinary field of performance studies to bring out characteristics and themes of performance that may be found in Habakkuk also. Recognisably dramatic features in the book of Habakkuk are highlighted and celebrated when reading the book as a performance. A literal and iconic translation of the Masoretic Text of Habakkuk is undertaken in order to produce the script� of the Habakkuk performance.The script is then analysed by attending to the performance characteristics of script, actor, audience, setting and improvisation. The actors� in the performance are paradigmatic characters whose attitudes and actions become models for the audience, both positively and negatively. Actual and implied members of the audience are frequently drawn into the performance, ensuring that they do not remain impartial spectators. The context of crisis that forms the book's setting is of crucial importance, allowing a new appreciation of dissonant genres such as complaint and lament in which expressions of faith in the midst of traumatic experience are taken seriously. Improvisation, defined as the way in which established traditions are re-used and modified in order to convey new meanings, has a two-fold emphasis in this thesis: first, by examining the ways in which the book was compiled from older traditions that were modified to suit a new setting and second, by noticing the revisions that later communities of faith make in the light of new situations.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • Charles Sturt University
    Supervisors/Advisors
    • Anstey, Matthew, Principal Supervisor
    Award date01 Aug 2010
    Place of PublicationAustralia
    Publisher
    Publication statusPublished - 2010

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