The Bible and Critical Theory, Vol 1, No 4 (2005)

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Why Should the Harlot be a Woman? Gender Identity as Allegorical Strategy of Representation in Prophetic Texts

Milena Kirova


In a reading that is at once literary and psychological, this essay traces the representation of the ‘harlot’ in prophetic biblical texts, especially those of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Hosea. A consistent symbolic universe of harlotry begins to come together, one that is crucial to the deeper masculine logic of abasement, judgement, repentance and salvation, but one in which woman also, in a curious twist, becomes the figure for the human.

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Bible and Critical Theory: ISSN 1832-3391