Monday 19 April 2010

Interpretation 64, 2 (April 2010) on Ruth

One of the journals I subscribe to is Interpretation. The issues are themed, with the April 2010 devoted to Ruth – containing the following essays:

Tod Linafelt
Narrative and Poetic Art in the Book of Ruth

Although the Book of Ruth is in many respects a classic example of biblical Hebrew narrative, there are two examples of formal poetry in the book (1:16–17 and 1:20–21). Biblical poetry works with a very different set of literary conventions than narrative, and by taking note of those conventions, we can see the distinctive contributions made by these poems to the book as a whole.

Martin O’Kane
The Iconography of the Book of Ruth

Although absent from early Christian iconography, Ruth has been a popular figure in both Christian and Jewish art from the medieval period onward. In depicting scenes from the Book of Ruth, artists have been sensitive to the nuances and subtleties of the biblical narrative and have interpreted her story visually in many original and distinctive ways.

Helen Leneman
More Than the Love of Men: Ruth and Noami’s Story in Music

This essay introduces and discusses four musical works that extensively treat Ruth and Naomi’s relationship: two late nineteenth-century oratorios, and two twentieth-century operas. Both music and librettos are treated as midrash – a creative retelling through both altered text and in the language of music.

Athalya Brenner
From Ruth to the ‘Global Woman’: Social and Legal Aspects

In this short study, the Scroll of Ruth, and especially Ruth’s undisclosed motives for following her mother-in-law, are read alongside the situation of foreign, female migrant workers in contemporary Israel – and vice versa. This allows a bi-directional reading that supplies a possible context both for the biblical text and for the evaluation of today’s issues.

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