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Metaphor and Masculinity in Hosea


Susan E. Haddox

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.


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Preface ix


EDITOR’S PREFACE ore than ever the horizons in biblical literature are being ex- panded beyond that which is immediately imagined; impor- tant new methodological, theological, and hermeneutical di- rections are being explored, often resulting in significant contributions to the world of biblical scholarship. It is an exciting time for the academy as engagement in biblical studies continues to be heightened. This series seeks to make available to scholars and institutions, schol- arship of a high order, and which will make a significant contribution to the ongoing biblical discourse. This series includes established and inno- vative directions, covering general and particular areas in biblical study. For every volume considered for this series, we explore the question as to whether the study will push the horizons of biblical scholarship. The an- swer must be yes for inclusion. In this volume Susan Haddox examines the use of metaphor in Hosea with a particular focus on the emphasis and language of masculin- ity as it pervades political apostasy in Hosea. The author observes cor- rectly that while in many ways masculinity dominates the Hosea text, there is a paucity of scholarship in this area. She attends to this need with an extensive application of masculinity theory to Hosea, building on the limited foundation of recent scholarship that employs masculine theory. She argues that while there has been a preponderance of scholarship on female imagery in Hosea, male imagery in fact dominates the text. Using the model of social and semantic space, she evaluates the...

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