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This study explores in a comprehensive and provocative way the presence of comedy in the Hebrew Scriptures. Apart from the occasional recognition of comic forms or motifs in biblical dress, the vast majority of interpreters have usually discounted or even disdained the possibility of the Bible having any significant place for the comic vision. This book attempts to make amends for this short-sighted, prejudicial perspective. Using a broad, eclectic view of comedy, it offers an in-depth analysis of such richly diverse biblical texts as Genesis, Exodus, Esther, Jonah, Job and the Song of Songs. Showing how comedy oscillates between the poles of attack and affirmation, critique and celebration, this exploration brings to light the biblical appropriation of the comic vision as a vital strategy to overcome death and despair and to revel in life and laughter.
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