Pride, Power, and Politics: A Rhetorical Study of Identity in the Book of Ezekiel
The study explores polarizing and stigmatizing rhetoric in Ezekiel’s OAN unit (Ezek 25-32) and its literary context by which Judean identity is discursively constructed by defining and marginalizing the foreign other and their Judean supporters. The study reflects a rhetorical critical approach with special attention to the sociological dimension of Judah’s political factions, which represent varying degrees of Judean cooperation with foreign nations. Attention to social location and the book’s discourse on the dissonance between speaker and audience inform the shape of rhetorical argumentation in the OAN.
The study concludes that a series of binary oppositions are pervasive throughout the OAN unit (high/low, life/death; circumcised/uncircumcised; pure/impure; holy/profane) and that the foreign nations are persistently assigned the lesser or negative classification as a means by which to marginalize and exclude the other: they are dead, uncircumcised, impure, and profane. The OAN’s discourse on death and impurity forms a significant component to the unit’s rhetorical force that intersects with Israelite priestly tradition, particularly observable in the Holiness source. The priestly nexus with its implications for achieving spatial and social boundaries reinforces the conceptual marginalization of foreigners and their perceived defilements. The world of power and politics is contextualized by a sacral framework to rhetorically effect estrangement from both foreign and Judean groups marked for sociopolitical disintegration in the book of Ezekiel.
PHD in Theology
Ezekiel, Criticism, Interpretation, Judaea Region, Politics and government, Middle East
Missions and World Christianity
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