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The Power of Images. The Poetics of Violence in Lamentations 2 and Ancient Near Eastern Art


Walker, Justin (2022). The Power of Images. The Poetics of Violence in Lamentations 2 and Ancient Near Eastern Art. Leuven - Paris - Bristol: Peeters.

Abstract

The publication of Keel’s Symbolism of the Biblical World (German 1972, English 1978) demonstrated the val-ue of ancient Near Eastern iconography for interpreting biblical texts. In the intervening decades since (and of) Keel’s work, iconographic exegesis of the Hebrew Bible has witnessed significant methodological and theoretical developments, many of which can be broadly characterized by an increasing concern with issues of histor(icit)y and contiguity in the image-text comparison. The present work represents a (re)turn to a phenomenological approach to iconographic exegesis that is especially concerned with how images and texts might mutually inform one another at the level of their respective poetics. As a test case for such a comparison, this volume examines how the phenomenon of violence figures in Lamentations 2 and in Ashurbanipal’s palace reliefs - specifically, one of the Battle of Til-Tuba programs (Southwest Palace, Room 33) and the lion hunt reliefs (North Palace, Room C).
The project begins with a discussion of the neurological and cognitive relationship between seeing images with the eye and imagining them with the “mind’s eye” as a means of justifying such a phenomenological approach that compares how ancient artists and the biblical author construct the violent images that are seen and imagined in their works, respectively (ch. 1). It then conducts detailed analyses of the poetics of violent imagery in Lamentations 2 (chs. 2-3), the Battle of Til-Tuba reliefs (ch. 4), and Ashurbanipal’s lion hunt reliefs (ch. 5) before providing an extended comparison of the similar and divergent ways that violence figures in the literary and textual images of each piece (ch. 6). Overall, the volume profers new interpretive insights concerning the phenomenon of violence in the ancient Near Eastern artwork and Lamentations 2 specifically - particularly as it pertains to the poem’s construction of Yahweh’s and Zion’s bodies, its perspectival play, its manipulation of time, and the “power” of its imagery in eliciting the divine gaze. The project also demonstrates the utility of ancient Near Eastern art for illuminating not only what but also how a given phenomenon figures in biblical poetry and vice versa.

Abstract

The publication of Keel’s Symbolism of the Biblical World (German 1972, English 1978) demonstrated the val-ue of ancient Near Eastern iconography for interpreting biblical texts. In the intervening decades since (and of) Keel’s work, iconographic exegesis of the Hebrew Bible has witnessed significant methodological and theoretical developments, many of which can be broadly characterized by an increasing concern with issues of histor(icit)y and contiguity in the image-text comparison. The present work represents a (re)turn to a phenomenological approach to iconographic exegesis that is especially concerned with how images and texts might mutually inform one another at the level of their respective poetics. As a test case for such a comparison, this volume examines how the phenomenon of violence figures in Lamentations 2 and in Ashurbanipal’s palace reliefs - specifically, one of the Battle of Til-Tuba programs (Southwest Palace, Room 33) and the lion hunt reliefs (North Palace, Room C).
The project begins with a discussion of the neurological and cognitive relationship between seeing images with the eye and imagining them with the “mind’s eye” as a means of justifying such a phenomenological approach that compares how ancient artists and the biblical author construct the violent images that are seen and imagined in their works, respectively (ch. 1). It then conducts detailed analyses of the poetics of violent imagery in Lamentations 2 (chs. 2-3), the Battle of Til-Tuba reliefs (ch. 4), and Ashurbanipal’s lion hunt reliefs (ch. 5) before providing an extended comparison of the similar and divergent ways that violence figures in the literary and textual images of each piece (ch. 6). Overall, the volume profers new interpretive insights concerning the phenomenon of violence in the ancient Near Eastern artwork and Lamentations 2 specifically - particularly as it pertains to the poem’s construction of Yahweh’s and Zion’s bodies, its perspectival play, its manipulation of time, and the “power” of its imagery in eliciting the divine gaze. The project also demonstrates the utility of ancient Near Eastern art for illuminating not only what but also how a given phenomenon figures in biblical poetry and vice versa.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Monograph
Communities & Collections:01 Faculty of Theology and the Study of Religion > Institute of Religious Studies
Special Collections > Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis
Dewey Decimal Classification:200 Religion
Language:English
Date:2022
Deposited On:29 Mar 2023 14:48
Last Modified:21 May 2024 20:24
Publisher:Peeters
Series Name:Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis
Volume:297
Number of Pages:322
ISBN:9789042949850
OA Status:Green
Free access at:Official URL. An embargo period may apply.
Related URLs:https://www.peeters-leuven.be/detail.php?search_key=9789042949850&series_number_str=297&lang=en (Publisher)
  • Language: English
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