The Tower of Babel: a literary examination of Genesis 11:1-9

Keating, Raelene (2008) The Tower of Babel: a literary examination of Genesis 11:1-9. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

The Tower of Babel narrative describes how the entire world has settled in one place and has established a city and built a great tower. The people share unity of place, language, and purpose but their desire to stay united is countered by Yahweh's desire for diversity in his creation. My literary examination of this tale delves into the language and structure of the narrative which exposes its complexity and artistry. By analyzing these literary features, it is hoped that the meaning of the narrative is revealed which, in turn, add nuances to Genesis 1-11 as a whole. -- Read on its own, the tower narrative describes a clash between human and divine wills: the will to remain together against the will for diversity. Yet, when the pericope is read in its larger context as the ending of Genesis 1-11 the narrative's deeper meaning is revealed. The tower narrative is linked to the Garden of Eden narrative on a variety of levels. Thematically, the maturation theme as told in the garden narrative is, on a universal scale, related once again in the tower narrative. When seen in this light, the narrative then relates the positive development of humanity from a single, united group to the diverse cultures of the world completing humanity's journey begun at creation.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/9366
Item ID: 9366
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (leaves 116-120).
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Religious Studies
Date: 2008
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Bible. Genesis XI, 1-9--Criticism, interpretation, etc.; Babel, Tower of

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