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The Bible and FeminismRemapping the Field$
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Yvonne Sherwood

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198722618

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198722618.001.0001

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Sneaky Snakes

Sneaky Snakes

Seduction, the Biblical Imagination, and Activating Art

(p.589) Chapter 32 Sneaky Snakes
The Bible and Feminism

Mieke Bal

Oxford University Press

Stories are very effective means of seduction, and stories allegedly about seduction even more so than others. I will look at three sets of artworks that use allusion to bring in biblical stories and, in the process, change these. Paradoxically, the frequent presence of biblical stories in culture at large also makes them handy tools to subvert their own baggage of misinterpretation. My analysis of three visual artworks is based on what I call a ‘politics of allusion’. An allusion is not a metaphor; instead of replacing one thing with another, an allusion enfolds the alluded into what we see. Allusions operate not on an ‘either/or’ structure but on a ‘both … and’ or ‘as well as’ inclusive model. I will argue that the traditional interpretations of biblical stories can be subverted by the search for allusions.

Keywords:   allusion, misinterpretation, seduction, snake, subversion

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