• The Defilement of Dina: Uncontrolled Passions, Textual Violence, and the Search for Moral Foundations


    Author(s):
    Yitzhaq Feder (see profile)
    Date:
    2016
    Group(s):
    Biblical Studies
    Subject(s):
    Psychology
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    ethnicity, impurity, intermarriage, pollution, moral foundations theory
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M6RQ3B
    Abstract:
    The story of Dinah’s violation in Genesis 34 has elicited radically different evaluations among exegetes. The present article attributes these divergent readings to the existence of distinct voices or moral positions in the text, particularly in relation to the issue of intermarriage. Beginning with a synchronic literary and ideological analysis of the narrative, the present reading will examine whether the multi-vocal state of the text should be best understood as an expression of ambivalence, redactional history or otherwise. A key tool in this analysis is the Moral Foundations Theory developed by social psychologist Jonathan Haidt and his colleagues. This theory can help shed light on the ideological tendencies and rhetorical techniques reflected in this text, particularly the significance of the repeated references to the defilement of Dinah. This synchronic reading will also suggest the basis for a diachronic analysis of the story, demonstrating how narrative features of the final form of the text offer clues to the scribal tendencies involved in editing it. Finally, these literary, historical and psychological dimensions are integrated to better contextualize the paradoxical relationship between defilement and ethnicity in the story.
    Notes:
    pre-pub version
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    7 months ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved

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