Thomas Wetzel

Violence and Divine Victory in the Book of Esther

[Gewalt und göttlicher Sieg im Buch Esther.]

74,00 €
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sewn paper
ISBN 978-3-16-160660-1
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Published in English.
Known for its violence and lack of religious language, the biblical Esther story seems an unlikely source for understanding God's ongoing presence in creation. Thomas Wetzel challenges the reader to look beneath the story's surfaces to find God, Israel, and a world rich in religious meaning.
Thomas Wetzel offers a new way to understand the violence and religious absence long emphasized in readings of the Hebrew version of the Esther story. By tracing the vestiges of Jewish liturgical activity described in the story as well as the story's reliance on the tradition of the Divine Combat myth, the author uncovers a profound, yet intentionally hidden, religious sensibility within the story's narrative world. These connections link the Esther story to the great acts of deliverance in the larger biblical tradition, but also bring into sharp focus the biblical view that Israel's survival and sometimes violent deliverance remain the definitive sign of the Lord's ongoing and active presence in creation. The author's conclusion suggests that this understanding has profound implications for Jewish-Christian dialogue and for the future existence and practice of the two communities.

Thomas Wetzel Born 1967; 1990 BA philosophy; 1994 MA and 2000 PhD in English literature, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; 2006 MA in theology, Marquette University; 2015 ThD, Harvard Divinity School; currently assistant professor of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament at Loyola University Chicago.


The following reviews are known:

In: Theologische Revue — 119 (2023) (Marie-Theres Wacker)
In: Biblische Notizen — 200 (2024) (Joshua Alfaro)
In: Zeitschrift für die Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft (ZAW) — 135 (2023), pp. 162–163 (Helge Bezold)
In: Old Testament Abstracts — 46 (2023), p. 659 (Thomas Hieke)