Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Shame to hospitality: A post-Holocaust biblical hermeneutic
by Zen, Beringia M., Ph.D., Graduate Theological Union, 2015, 266; 3664451
Abstract (Summary)

In this study of Christian spirituality, I examine the dynamics of shame within post-Holocaust biblical hermeneutics and demonstrate how hospitality might function as an alternative hermeneutic. Shame can serve two hermeneutical functions for those biblical scholars who strive to interpret the bible without perpetuating Christian anti-Judaism or supersessionism. First, shame can be transformative. As a biblical scholar encounters a biblical text with anti-Jewish potential, the experience of shame for this potential allows a biblical scholar a means by which the biblical text can be appropriated. Through this experience of shame, the biblical scholar's identity as a post- Holocaust Christian is reinforced and, therefore, transformed. Second, the biblical scholar who experiences shame for a biblical text's anti-Jewish potential might recast this shame through practices of interpretive shaming. These practices stigmatize the biblical text, general readers, and Christianity for their complicity in perpetuating Christian anti-Judaism. Practices of stigmatizing shaming can be problematic because, through the process of shaming, the text, its readers, and Christianity are deemed to be flawed without hope for reform.

One way to end this cycle of shaming is to develop interpretive practices that transignify shame. Through such practices, a biblical scholar might still experience shame for a biblical text's anti-Jewish potential, but this shame is not recast. One option for the transignification of shame is through the use of interpretive practices of hospitality. These interpretive practices encourage a post-Holocaust biblical interpreter to approach a biblical text's anti-Jewish potential with a spirit of openness while still setting limits for acceptable interpretation. In order to demonstrate this hermeneutic of hospitality, I use the interpretive practices of hospitality to provide a post-Holocaust interpretation of Rublev's Trinity icon and Genesis 18:1-15.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Green, Barbara
School: Graduate Theological Union
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 77/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Biblical studies, Epistemology, Spirituality, Holocaust Studies
Keywords: Anti-Judaism, Hermeneutics, Hospitality, Post-Holocaust, Shame
Publication Number: 3664451
ISBN: 978-1-339-23399-4
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