The Rejection Of Saul: An Inquiry Into A Pitiless Theology. “The story of King Saul is, I believe, one of the bible’s uncomfortable stores.” The rejection of Saul is a dynamically spun legend that reveals much in the way of ancient and contemporary biblical narrative, lackadaisical tradition, and theological interpretation. Rabbinical tradition has often approached the subject of Saul’s rejection with a certain amount of tolerant flexibility and honest scrutiny. However, Christianity has been predominantly consistent in two-dimensional readings of the text, normally mantling a judgmental and hostile attitude towards the figure of King Saul. In his commentary on the … Continue reading The Rejection Of Saul: An Inquiry Into A Pitiless Theology.
The 1956 Marc Chagall etching “Samuel Anointing Saul” depicts the last of the judges, the middle-aged Samuel, anointing the young Saul as Israel’s first king. This action, in the literary development of First Samuel, expresses a symbolic, narrative shifting of sanctuaries for Israel. Yahweh’s people, rejecting the sons of Samuel, and thus rejecting the hereditary line of judges, ask for their first King. The Israelites desire what other nations have. They desire the sanctuary of strong, human leadership in a king. It is with this pivotal point in the drama of First Samuel that Israel’s mode of sanctuary shifts from … Continue reading SHIFTING SANCTUARIES
Anti-Semitic expressions in the arts can nearly be traced back to the dawn of Christianity. Shakespeare’s Shylock, from The Merchant of Venice, manifested Elizabethan attitudes of a stereotypical Jew demanding a “pound of flesh” for unpaid debts. Critics have long debated the extent of anti-Semitism in the play, but even the most resistant critics have admitted that, at the least, the character has the outline of anti-Semitic stereotypes. The Nazis certainly thought so and utilized the play for their own means in an extreme, notorious production staged at Vienna’s Burgtheater in 1943. That play starred German actor Werner Krauss in … Continue reading MOSES AND THE GOLEM