Bible and Bedlam

Bible and Bedlam : Madness, Sanism, and New Testament Interpretation

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Bible and Bedlam first critically questions the exclusion and stereotyping of certain biblical characters and scholars perceived as `mad', as such judgements illustrate the `sanism' (prejudice against individuals who are diagnosed or perceived as mentally ill) perpetuated within the discipline of Western biblical studies. Second, it seeks to highlight the widespread ideological `gatekeeping' - `protection' and `policing' of madness in both western history and scholarship - with regard to celebrated biblical figures, including Jesus and Paul. Third, it initiates creative exchanges between biblical texts, interpretations and contemporary voices from `mad' studies and sources (autobiographies, memoirs etc.), which are designed to critically disturb, disrupt and displace commonly projected (and often pejorative) assumptions surrounding `madness'. Voices of those subject to diagnostic labelling such as autism, schizophrenia and/or psychosis are among those juxtaposed here with selected biblical interpretations and texts.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 200 pages
  • 156 x 234 x 12.7mm | 458g
  • T.& T.Clark Ltd
  • Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0567657531
  • 9780567657534
  • 816,383

Table of contents

Introduction: Bible and Bedlam
1. Ivory Towers and the Banishment of Bedlam: Reason, Right Minds and Sane Privilege in Biblical Studies
2. The Curious Incident of a Jew in the Night-Time: Autistry and An Encounter with Nicodemus
3. `Ex-Centric Women': Intersecting Marginalities and the Madness Narratives of Bessie Head, a Canaanite Woman and Pythian Slave Girl
4. Gatekeeping the Madness of Jesus and Paul: Negotiating Mythologies of Madness in An Age of Neoliberalism
5. Madness, the Affect Alien and the Gospel of Mark: Critically Probing a Happiness Turn in Biblical Studies
6. Conclusion: Beyond Bedlam? Keeping Open[ing] Minds in Biblical Interpretation
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About Louise J. Lawrence

Louise J. Lawrence is Associate Professor in New Testament Studies at the University of Exeter, UK. She is the author of, among other works, Sense and Stigma in the Gospels: Depictions of Sensory-Disabled Characters (2013) and Reading with Anthropology: Exhibiting Aspects of New Testament Religion (2005).
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