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Desiring ConversionHermas, Thecla, Aseneth$
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B. Diane Lipsett

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199754519

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199754519.001.0001

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Aseneth and the Sublime Turn

Aseneth and the Sublime Turn

(p.86) Four Aseneth and the Sublime Turn
Desiring Conversion

B. Diane Lipsett

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyzes Joseph and Aseneth, attending to the densely descriptive, figurative, and allusive language in the tale of Aseneth’s conversion to becoming both Joseph’s wife and a model venerator of Joseph’s God. The ancient literary critic, Longinus, provides a critical lexicon and a literary-rhetorical exploration of sublimity, threat, and cultural transformation that may be placed alongside Joseph and Aseneth to generate reciprocal insights. Aseneth becomes first the exemplar of the mutability of metanoia, but then a city of refuge, modeling virtues of clemency, self-control, and civic service.

Keywords:   Joseph and Aseneth, desire, virginity, metanoia, conversion, Longinus

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