The Biblical Leviathan in Jewish and Christian Interpretation

January 3, 2017 — Leave a comment

Before I move on to other things, I’d like to introduce one more biblical studies related article from the Journal of the Interdisciplinary Study of Monotheistic Religions.

Volume 10 (2015) includes an article about Leviathan in Jewish and Christian interpretation by Danielle Gurevich, Associate Dean at the Faculty of Humanities, Bar-Ilan University (Israel).

Here are the links and bibliographic information.

Japanese Title: 聖書のレビヤタンのシンボリズムとファンタジー : アビスの怪物から預言者たちの救済者まで(PDF)

Transliteration: Seisho no rebiyatan no shinborizumu to huantajī: Abisu no kaibutsu kara yogensha-tachi no kyūsaisha made

English Title: Symbolism and Fantasy of the Biblical Leviathan: From Monster of the Abyss to Redeemer of the Prophets (PDF)

Author: ダニエル・グレヴィッチ・Danielle Gurevitch

Author Affiliation: バル・イラン大学・Associate Dean at the Faculty of Humanities, Bar-Ilan University

Author Links: 

Publication Info (Japanese edition): 一神教学際研究 10 (2015): 40–58

Publication Info (English edition): Journal of the Interdisciplinary Study of Monotheistic Religions 10 (2015): 50–68

Bibliographic Links:

English Abstract: 

The legendary biblical monster of the deep known as Leviathan was part and parcel of the destructive forces that sought to annihilate the world. Yet, according to another popular Jewish belief, a similar sea creature is associated with the spiritual idea of repentance and rebirth. This article examines the Leviathan/whale image and its cultural depiction in ancient Jewish literature, as well as its influence on medieval Christianity. I contend that the roots of the Leviathan image in western society grew and spread over the centuries, becoming an integral part of traditional lore, as well as religious ethos, in different cultures. Each society depicted the legendary creature in a distinct manner in response to its own collective primal fears, kneading it into a source of strength and hope in times of anguish. In other words, this paper attempts to demonstrate that the image of the giant monster ultimately serves as a source of strength and consolation, whether it is defeated (as in ancient pagan civilizations), controlled (as in Judaism), or brandished as a threat of punishment for sinners (as in Christianity). (From DUAR)

Japanese Abstract:

レビヤタンとして周知されている聖書の伝説上の怪物は、世界を消滅させようと企む破壊的な力の中核である。しかしながら、ユダヤの民衆的な信仰の中には、同様の海の動物を、悔悛と再生という精神的な理念に関係づけているものもある。本稿においては、古代ユダヤ文学におけるレビヤタン/クジラのイメージと文化的な記述について、また中世キリスト教におけるそれらの影響についても検証する。西欧社会でのレビヤタンのイメージの起源は成長し、何世紀にもわたって、様々な文化において、伝統的な伝承、宗教的エートスにおいて必須のものとなったことを主張する。それぞれの社会は、彼ら自身の集合的原始的恐怖に対応して、独特の様式でこの伝説上の生き物を描写し、苦悩の時代の力と希望の源に練りかえていった。つまり、本稿は、巨大な怪物のイメージが、たとえそれが敗北しようとも(古代異教文明の場合)、統制されようとも(ユダヤ教の場合)、罪人に対する罪の恐怖としての脅しになろうとも(キリスト教の場合)、究極的には力と慰めの源となりうることを主張する。(DUARより

スポンサーリンク

With Both Feet on the Clouds: Fantasy and Israeli Culture (Israel: Society, Culture, and History)

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