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Scholars Day: April 7, 2010

Out vs. In: How Judges 19 Uses Dichotomy to Represent Upheaval

This presentation isolates instances of the dichotomy “out” and “in” from Judges 19 to address the amoral actions of its characters in regard to the Levite’s concubine. The main instances of the dichotomy occur in the contrast between being indoors and out of doors, and being an “insider” from Gibeah or someone from out of town. Safety can be found for those who are indoors and/or native to the town, and in contrast, being labeled an “outsider” or simply being outside represents danger. This is clarified by specific examples: e.g. the concubine, the Levite, and the old man who takes them in for the night are all outsiders and they are all at risk from Gibeah’s indigenous inhabitants. This dichotomy, and the comforting idea that it presents (namely that being “inside” represents safety) is finally upset when the concubine is disturbingly dismembered indoors, and by her own husband.

Presenter: Mary Thomas (Undergraduate Student)
Location: 219 Hartwell
Time: 11 am (Session II)