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dc.contributor.advisor Chapman, Stephen B. en_US
dc.contributor.author Huddleston, Jonathan Luke en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2012-05-29T16:42:01Z
dc.date.available 2013-05-24T04:30:06Z
dc.date.issued 2011 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10161/5659
dc.description Dissertation en_US
dc.description.abstract <p>Abstract</p><p>This dissertation examines the book of Genesis as a functioning literary whole, orienting</p><p>post-exilic Persian-era Judeans toward their ideal future expectations. While many have</p><p>contrasted Genesis' account of origins with the prophetic books' account of the future, this work</p><p>argues that Genesis narrates Israel's origins (and the world's) precisely in order to ground Judean</p><p>hopes for an eschatological restoration. Employing a speech-act linguistic semiotics, this study</p><p>explores the temporal orientation of Genesis and its indexical pointing to the lives and hopes of</p><p>its Persian-era users. Promises made throughout Genesis apply not only to the characters of</p><p>traditional memory, but also to those who preserved/ composed/ received the text of Genesis.</p><p>Divine promises for Israel's future help constitute Israel's ongoing identity. Poor, sparsely</p><p>populated, Persian-ruled Judea imagines its mythic destiny as a great nation exemplifying (and</p><p>spreading) blessing among the families of the earth, dominating central Palestine in a new pan-</p><p>Israelite unity with neighboring Samaria and expanding both territory and population.</p><p>Genesis' narrative of Israel's origins and destiny thus dovetails with the Persian-era</p><p>expectations attested in Israel's prophetic corpus--a coherent (though variegated) restoration</p><p>eschatology. This prophetic eschatology shares mythic traditions with Genesis, using those</p><p>traditions typologically to point to Israel's future hope. Taken together, Genesis and the prophetic</p><p>corpus identify Israel as a precious seed, carrying forward promises of a yet-to-be-realized</p><p>creation fruitfulness and blessing. Those who used this literature identify their disappointments</p><p>and tragedies in terms of the mythic destruction and cursing that threaten creation but never</p><p>extinguish the line of promise. The dynamic processes of Genesis' usage (its composition</p><p>stretching back to the pre-exilic period, and its reception stretching forward to the post-Persian</p><p>era) have made Genesis an etiology of Israel's expected future--not of its static present. Because</p><p>v</p><p>this future will be fully realized only in the coming divine visitation, Genesis cannot be attributed</p><p>to an anti-eschatological, hierocratic establishment. Rather, it belongs to the same Persian-era</p><p>Judean synthesis which produced the restoration eschatology of the prophetic corpus. This</p><p>account of Genesis contributes to a canonical understanding of Second Temple Hebrew literature;</p><p>prophetic scrolls and Pentateuchal (Torah) scrolls interact to form a textually based Israelite</p><p>identity, founded on trust in a divinely promised future.</p> en_US
dc.subject Biblical Studies en_US
dc.subject Language, Linguistics en_US
dc.subject Religion en_US
dc.subject Canon en_US
dc.subject Eschatology en_US
dc.subject Genesis en_US
dc.subject Hope en_US
dc.subject Israel en_US
dc.subject Semiotics en_US
dc.title The Beginning of the End: The Eschatology of Genesis en_US
dc.type Dissertation en_US
dc.department Religion en_US
duke.embargo.months 12 en_US

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