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Demonizing the Queen of Sheba : Boundaries of Gender and Culture in Postbiblical Judaism and Medieval Islam - Jacob Lassner

Demonizing the Queen of Sheba

Boundaries of Gender and Culture in Postbiblical Judaism and Medieval Islam

Paperback Published: 1st December 1993
ISBN: 9780226469157
Number Of Pages: 308

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Over the centuries, Jewish and Muslim writers transformed the biblical Queen of Sheba from a clever, politically astute sovereign to a demonic force threatening the boundaries of gender. In this book, Jacob Lassner shows how successive retellings of the biblical story reveal anxieties about gender and illuminate the processes of cultural transmission.
The Bible presents the Queen of Sheba's encounter with King Solomon as a diplomatic mission: the queen comes "to test him with hard questions," all of which he answers to her satisfaction; she then praises him and, after an exchange of gifts, returns to her own land. By the Middle Ages, Lassner demonstrates, the focus of the queen's visit had shifted from international to sexual politics. The queen was now portrayed as acting in open defiance of nature's equilibrium and God's design. In these retellings, the authors humbled the queen and thereby restored the world to its proper condition.
Lassner also examines the Islamization of Jewish themes, using the dramatic accounts of Solomon and his female antagonist as a test case of how Jewish lore penetrated the literary imagination of Muslims. "Demonizing the Queen of Sheba" thus addresses not only specialists in Jewish and Islamic studies, but also those concerned with issues of cultural transmission and the role of gender in history.

Biblical and Postbiblical Accounts
The Biblical Account
The Midrash Mishle
The Midrash ha-Hefez
The Targum Sheni to the Book of Esther
The Stories of Ben Sira
The Origins of the Dangerous/Demonic Queen
The Qur'anic Story of Solomon and the Queen of Sheba
The Account of the Queen's Visit
Muslim Scripture and Jewish Sources
The Nature of the Qur'anic Version
Later Muslim Versions
Tha'labi's Account
The Missing Hoopoe
A Noble Letter
The Mission to Solomon
The Queen's Visit
The Fate of Bilqis
A Reading of Tha'labi's Solomon and the Queen of Sheba
Concern for an Orderly Universe
The Prophet's Mandate
The Danger of Crossing Gender Boundaries
The Queen's Challenge to Man and Divine Order
Submission to Male Authority
Postscript: Universal versus Particular
Islamizing Universal and Specifically Jewish Themes
The Significance of the Queen's Throne
Muslim Markings
Islamizing the Story of the Hoopoe
Jewish Themes and Settings
The One Who Had Knowledge of the Book
Asaph Son of Berechiah
The Mightiest Name of God
Traces of Jewish Themes
Muslim Uses of the Jewish Past
The Transfer and Absorption of Cultural Artifacts
Islamizing Jewish Memorabilia
The Queen's Visit: Some Methodological Considerations
Cases in Point
Islamized Artifacts Entering/Reentering Jewish Tradition
The Queen's Origins: A Late Yemenite Version
Solomon's Campaign against the Island King
Solomon and the Queen of Sheba According to Saadiah Ben Joseph H. Recent Jewish Folklore Postscript
Appendix: Texts in Translation
The Queen's Visit: I Kings 10:1-13
The Queen of Sheba in the Midrash Mishle (Proverbs)
Riddles of the Midrash ha-Hefez
The Targum Sheni to the Book of Esther
Pseudo Ben Sira on the Queen's Visit
The Yemenite Tale of Saadiah Ben Joseph
Recent Jewish Folklore and the Folkloric Texts
Various Qur'anic Texts
Tha'labi's Version of Sulayman and Bilqis, the Queen
Passages from al-Kisa'i
Index of Biblical Verses
General Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780226469157
ISBN-10: 0226469158
Series: Chicago Studies in the History of Judais
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 308
Published: 1st December 1993
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.88  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.45
Edition Number: 2

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