Construction of Gender and Identity in Genesis: The Subject and the Other
Construction of Gender and Identity in Genesis: The Subject and the Other

Construction of Gender and Identity in Genesis: The Subject and the Other

in The Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies

by Karalina Matskevich

Pages 224
Publisher T&T Clark
Published 2018
ISBN-13 9780567673763
Karalina Matskevich examines the structures that map out the construction of gendered and national identities in Genesis 2–3 and 12–36. Matskevich shows how the dominant 'Subject' - the androcentric ha'adam and the ethnocentric Israel - is perceived in relation to and over against the 'Other', represented respectively as female and foreign. Using the tools of narratology, semiotics and psychoanalysis, Matskevich highlights the contradiction inherent in the project of dominance, through which the Subject seeks to suppress the transforming power of difference it relies on for its signification.

Thus, in Genesis 2-3 ha'adam can only emerge as a complex Subject in possession of knowledge with the help of woman, the transforming Other to whom the narrator (and Yahweh) attributes both the agency and the blame. Similarly, the narratives of Genesis 12–36 show a conflicted attitude to places of alterity: Egypt, the fertile and seductive space that threatens annihilation, and Haran, the 'mother's land', a complex metaphor for the feminine. The construction of identity in these narratives largely relies on the symbolic fecundity of the Other.

  • Table of contents
  • Preface
  • Acknowledgements
  • Abbreviations
  • Introduction
  • 1. Double-Plotting in the Garden (Gen. 2-3)
  • 2. Dynamics of Othering in the Abraham Cycle (Gen. 11.27–25.18)
  • 3. The Mother's Land as the Space of Alterity in the Jacob Narrative (Gen. 25.19–37.1)
  • Conclusion
  • Index

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