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Mother Zion in Deutero-Isaiah

A Metaphor for Zion Theology

Series:

Maggie Low

Mother Zion in Deutero-Isaiah: A Metaphor for Zion Theology offers the unique perspective that personified mother Zion in Deutero-Isaiah is not just a metaphor used for a rhetorical purpose but a cognitive metaphor representing Zion theology, a central theme in the Book of Isaiah. The author deftly combines the methods of metaphor theory and intertextuality to explain the vital but often overlooked conundrum that Zion in Deutero-Isaiah is an innocent mother, unlike the adulterous wife in other prophetic books. This interpretation offers a vital corrective to the view of women in the biblical context. As a result of this usage, Deutero-Isaiah paradoxically presents Yahweh the Creator as the one who gives birth to the people, not mother Zion. This understanding explains the concentration of gynomorphic imagery used for God in this prophetic book, providing a counterbalance to patriarchal perspectives of God. Finally, a fresh insight is offered into the ongoing debate between universalism and nationalism in Deutero-Isaiah, based on the premise that as a symbol of Zion theology, mother Zion represents Yahweh’s universal sovereignty rather than a nationalistic ethnicity. Mother Zion in Deutero-Isaiah is an invaluable resource in courses that deal with issues in Isaiah, biblical interpretation, and feminist hermeneutics, especially regarding the feminine personification of Zion and the maternal imagery of God.

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Editor’s Preface

Extract

More than ever the horizons in biblical literature are being expanded beyond that which is immediately imagined; important new methodological, theological, and hermeneutical directions 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, scholarship of a high order that will make a significant contribution to the ongoing biblical discourse. This series includes established and innovative 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 answer must be yes for inclusion. In this volume, Maggie Low examines the figure of Zion in Deutero-Isaiah, noting that DI does not condemn Zion as the adulterous wife as has been the conventional way of viewing Zion, but rather asserts her innocence and blames the people. The author employs both Metaphor theory and Intertextual studies in analyzing how a metaphor is used in a rhetorical context and the manner in which textual allusions are employed. Employing what the author terms a “stereo vision,” this study pursues a development of Zion as a metaphor, placing Zion in Isaiah’s theological and rhetorical context. Zion theology as a large framework illuminates trajectories for DI’s use of Zion as a metaphor. Low argues that Zion is correlated with Zion theology in three ways:...

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