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The Big Sleep: Strategic Ambiguity in Judges 4-5 and in Classic "Film Noir"

"The book of Judges makes demands of its readers. As Cheryl Exum puts it, the book "exhibits an enigmatic complexity." [1]Questions reach beyond the immediate narrative context to address issues of leadership, of access to the land, and, as I have argued elsewhere, of the complexity of morality and the merits of violent justice. [2]My argument here is that noir and the Jael narrative have a remarkably similarly structured rhetoric of ambiguity. More importantly, examination of noir''s mis-en-scène and the very censorial context from which it emerged, and which it sought to address, helps us to bring fresh questions and insights to the Jael narrative and its implied social context..."

Author(s):  Christianson, Eric S
Format:  Article
Publisher:  Society of Biblical Literature
Publication City:  Atlanta
Source:  SBL Forum