Resolviendo: narratives of survival in the Hebrew Bible and in Cuba todayShow full item record
|Resolviendo: narratives of survival in the Hebrew Bible and in Cuba today
|Doctor of Philosophy
|The story of Rahab in Joshua 2 has traditionally been interpreted as the account of a foreign woman and low-status prostitute who changes the course of her life when she converts to Yahweh, the God of Moses. In return for her faithful act of saving the spies sent by Joshua to search the land of Canaan, Rahab along with her family obtains salvation once her city of Jericho is destroyed. Rahab reappears in the New Testament where she is remembered in Jesus' genealogy in the gospel of Mathew 1:5. The story of Jael in Judges 4:17-23 has commonly been read as Jael's violent act of killing Sisera, King Jabin's commander in chief, with a tent peg to his temple while he was asleep. She is also perceived as someone who fails to fulfill the hospitality codes of her society.^The story of Jephthah and his unnamed daughter in Judges 10:6-12:7 describes the tragic event in which Jephthah makes a foolish and horrible vow offering his innocent daughter in sacrifice to God.^Typically this text is read as Jephthah being immensely irresponsible and his daughter being the poor victim who pays for her father's oath. Such interpretations of these stories are widely accepted within the scholarly biblical guild. But perhaps there are also other ways in which they can be read. In this dissertation, I propose that the stories of Rahab, Jael, and Jephthah can be particularly enriched and give hope to contemporary contexts of hardship when they are read through the Cuban notion of resolviendo (survival). The word resolviendo, meaning to find an answer or solution, was first used this way in Cuba at the beginning of the 1990s.^It was then that Cuba began to suffer the economic consequences of the fall of socialist countries from which a great part of its resources and economic help had come during the previous four decades. Without subsidies Cuba and its people had to create new economic opportunities.^It is in this context that the words resolver and resolviendo began to have a special meaning for Cubans. Resolver in many ways became synonymous with struggling to survive, making do. I read these biblical stories using narrative criticism as the main methodology along with different contemporary approaches to the texts including feminist, post-modern, and post-colonial approaches. I hope that my readings of the biblical narratives from a perspective of resolviendo can offer insights in the struggle for survival many Cubans face today. Last, I explore the implications that a reading through the notion of resolviendo or survival can have for other contexts in contemporary societies where survival is at stake.
|Brite Divinity School
|Perdue, Leo G.
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- Doctoral Dissertations