Synopses & Reviews
“Levy is a sensitive, often original interpreter of the Hebrew Bible, and this first book-length treatment opens an interesting dialogue about ‘the Bible as Theatre.” —Choice
“Levy finds within the stories of Deborah, Ruth, Esther, and the concubine of Gibeah a highly sophisticated portrayal of women by ancient writers who, Levy holds, have some strong “pro-feminist” views . . . His viewpoint offers the reader some wonderfully refreshing ways of looking at stories that have been either overlooked or ignored by Christians and Jews alike. … Levy is able to show that traditional interpretation accepted by most biblical scholars about how to interpret the prophesies of Elisha, Jonah, and Ezekiel can be both confirmed and more deeply informed through his “theatrical” reading of these prophets and their stories. … A welcome addition to the world of theatrical and dramatic scholarship [it] comes with the recommendation that it is well worth the time to read.” —Journal of Theatre and Performance
“Rich and provocative readings of biblical texts.” —H-Net; H-Judaic
“This is a book to be read with the Bible at one's side: by treating these texts on a strictly factual, down-to-earth basis, with due reverence but without uncritical devotion, it not only deepens one's understanding of a multitude of cultural, social and historical aspects of its contents, but also re-tells these tremendous stories with riveting detail, emotion and suspense.” —Martin Esslin
Although the Old Testament has been thoroughly analysed as literature, and many of its highly dramatic chapters, stories, poetry and prophecies have been adapted for theatre, THE BIBLE AS THEATRE has hardly been dealt with. As a "threshold-medium," ancient theatre hovered between the holy and the profane. The hostility the Hebrews expressed toward the "indecencies" of theatre was the result of religious, cultural and economic oppression they suffered from Greeks, Romans and other peoples whose theatre was well developed. This book shows that the real fear the ancient Hebrews felt was not of the gaudy aspects of theatre but of its highly creative potential as a rival Creator. This work is dedicated to the theatrical potential of the Old Testament, exposing a refined sense of theatricality.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 254-265) and index.