Reclaiming Dinah : a feminist-literary analysis of Genesis 34.1-9

Aucoin, Lael (2010) Reclaiming Dinah : a feminist-literary analysis of Genesis 34.1-9. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

Patriarchal readings of Genesis 34 have traditionally understood the story of Dinah to be one of "crime and punishment": Dinah is raped because she had the audacity to leave her father's home without permission. While later interpretations of the story are not so blatantly offensive, their misogynism is still evident, albeit in a much more subtle (and potentially more dangerous) form. Feminist biblical scholars, therefore, are presented with the daunting task of redeeming Dinah from centuries of patriarchal interpretation. This thesis explores how such a redemption of Dinah is possible. -- The task of redeeming Dinah is made possible through the interpretation of Genesis 34.1-9 as a "betrothal narrative" whose literary convention suggests a much more positive interpretation. By applying the structural arrangement of a betrothal type-scene as discerned by Robert Alter in Genesis 24 and Genesis 29 to Genesis 34, one can see how the narrative concerning Dinah offers a means of redemption. Dinah is no longer a victim to be blamed but a heroine in her own right a potential wife and mother. The narrative itself, far from condemning Dinah, offers her a means of redemption, a redemption foreclosed by the actions of Simeon and Levi. This thesis, therefore, provides a deeper insight into the apparent rape of Genesis 34, in order that readers can better comprehend Dinah's presence in the text and provide to it new meaning.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/9318
Item ID: 9318
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (leaves 127-130).
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Religious Studies
Date: 2010
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Dinah (Biblical figure); Bible. O.T.--Genesis--Feminist criticism; Betrothal--Religious aspects--Christianity; Redemption--Christianity

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