A comparison of three Biblical heroes with three heroes of early Irish literature, using themes of weakness and strength, gender and power, frailty and ambiguity. Are early Irish stories influenced by the Bible or transcriptions of pre-Christian Celtic lore? Layzer explores the practical and theoretical difficulties of determining 'influence' in ancient writing, and the relationship between the oral and the written, literacy and literature and the disciplines of Irish Studies and Biblical Studies. This fascinating comparative study matches Samson, Jonah and Esther with three Irish heroes for similarities in theme and treatment. Among the features explored are weakness and heroic strength, gender and power, frailty and ambiguity. The sexy, counterintuitive characters of the Irish stories throw a wonderful light on the techniques of ancient Hebrew narrative.
"On the whole Layzer has produced a work that raises many thought-provoking issues within the respective texts [Irish tales and the Bible] and has hinted at a variety of meanings that come to light because of the structuralist and semiotic methodologies that she employs. She readily acknowledges that Irish texts and biblical texts cannot be treated in an identical fashion, but she has chosen her texts carefully and ahs dealt with them in a way that will be of interest to many." -Cecil Grant, Review of Biblical Literature, November 2003 "Given the scholarly conservatism of early Irish studies, which has nurtured a great deal of superb historical philology at the cost of insulating the field from more recent theoretical developments in literary study, this is a bold and laudable undertaking Among [the book's subtle] insights, perhaps the strongest is Layzer's recognition of just how amenable early Irish literature is to a midrashic approach to interpretation." Morgan Thomas Davies, Colgate University
Series: Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Supplement S.
Published: 1st March 2001
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.6
Weight (kg): 0.3
Edition Number: 1