Like Father, Like Son: Theorizing Transmission in Biblical Literature
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Behind the literary form of testament and expressions memorializing the dead is a concept of how objects, rights, and speech pass from one generation to the next: transmission. This essay examines two interrelated phenomena that give filial succession in the biblical and Ugaritic literature its contours: first, the discourses surrounding inevitable bodily death; and second, father-to-son transmission of objects, entitlements, and instruction. Reading closely Isaac's deathbed blessing in Genesis 27, the Ugaritic tale of Aqhat, and Ruth's devotion to Naomi, the essay argues that acts of filial devotion and obedience are closely connected to cultural expectations of »truth,« the faithful correspondence of speech to action.