Metaphor and Masculinity in Hosea

by Susan E. Haddox (Author)
Monographs XIV, 238 Pages
Series: Studies in Biblical Literature, Volume 141


The metaphors in Hosea are rich and varied, comprising both gendered and non-gendered image fields. This book examines the use of metaphor in Hosea through the lens of masculinity studies, which provides a means to elucidate connections between the images and to analyze their cumulative rhetorical effect. The rhetoric of both the gendered and non-gendered imagery is analyzed using a model from cognitive anthropology, which divides social space along three axes: activity, potency, and goodness. People use metaphors to position and to move one another within this space. These axes reveal how the metaphors in Hosea rhetorically relate the audience, represented by Ephraim/Israel, and YHWH to a particular construction of masculinity. Hosea uses the imagery of Assyrian treaty curses to reinforce YHWH’s masculinity and dominance, while undermining the masculinity of the audience. The rhetoric of the text attempts to bring the audience into an appropriately subordinate position with respect to YHWH and to shape its members’ actions and attitudes accordingly.


XIV, 238
ISBN (Hardcover)
Publication date
2012 (February)
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, Oxford, Wien, 2011. XIV, 238 pp.

Biographical notes

Susan E. Haddox (Author)

Susan E. Haddox is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies at the University of Mount Union. She earned her PhD in Hebrew Bible from Emory University in Atlanta. Her research focuses on gender studies, especially masculinity studies, of the biblical texts.


Title: Metaphor and Masculinity in Hosea