Gender in the Book of Ben Sira: Divine Wisdom, Erotic by Teresa Ann Ellis

By Teresa Ann Ellis

Students who settle for Ben Sira's reviews on ladies at face-value or forget about parallel reviews approximately males avoid primary questions on the capabilities of those statements and approximately their contexts. Gender within the booklet of Ben Sira offers a distinctly-different point of view at the discourse of gender within the extant Hebrew manuscripts. the focal point on wordplay, genre-constraints, and subject matters named within the book's subtitle - Divine knowledge, Erotic Poetry, and the backyard of Eden - expands the bounds for stories of gender.

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Extra info for Gender in the Book of Ben Sira: Divine Wisdom, Erotic Poetry, and the Garden of Eden

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DuBois, who uses the concept to analyze psychoanalytic theory, credits Derrida for pointing out that “Lacanian discourse, in its phallogocentrism, justifies a historically ______________ 70 71 72 73 Ortner, “So, Is Female to Male,” 179. Ortner, “So, Is Female to Male,” 180. Butler, Gender Trouble, 48. Butler prefaces this remark by citing anthropologists MacCormack and Strathern (Nature, Culture, and Gender). Butler, Gender Trouble, 48. ” 75 The entailment of this move is that the Greek system has only one kind of person—a man—and that the category human consists of perfect examples, which are men, and defective ones, which are women.

In particular, Ben Sira’s taxonomic landscape is radically unlike the major Greek model of gender that the Hellenistic cultures inherited from Hellenic authors and philosophers—in particular, from Hesiod and Plato. Although the systems share elements, the arrangements of those elements produce different effects. For example, two taxonomic traits common to the “discourse of misogyny” are the identification of woman with misfortune, at an essential level, and woman’s ontologically-secondary status.

43–44). , 44–45). The binary presence/absence is part of the diagram of the Greek system but is not used in the diagram of Ben Sira’s system because it is less important there. 4 Taxonomies of Gender 31 Because female is an incomplete category in the Greek taxonomy, the Greek system is not a collection of independent binaries. Female is partially absorbed into absence, so that the Greek pair male/female functions with presence/ absence as a conglomeration that is somewhere between a binary and a quaternary—some fraction more than a trinary—and this invisible fold in the taxonomic plane causes slippage all across the system.

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