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Divine Violence and Divine Presence: Reading the Story of Uzzah and the Ark in 2 Samuel 6 with Slavoj Žižek

Gilmour, Rachelle (2019) Divine Violence and Divine Presence: Reading the Story of Uzzah and the Ark in 2 Samuel 6 with Slavoj Žižek. Biblical Interpretation, 27 (1). pp. 1-19. ISSN 0927-2569

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Abstract

This article interprets the story of the outbreak of God against Uzzah in 2 Samuel 6 as an act of “divine violence,” a concept described by Slavoj Žižek in his book Violence: Six Sideways Reflections. In previous interpretations of 2 Samuel 6, the violence against Uzzah has been understood either as a punishment for a transgression, or as a capricious act of God’s power. Slavoj Žižek describes “divine violence” as violence, which is not a means to an end, and which irrupts from a position of vulnerability and impotence. By looking at the details of the Masoretic Text of 2 Samuel 6, it will be argued that the violence of God in this story should also be interpreted as divine violence: it lacks meaning as a punishment for transgression, and it stems from the vulnerability of God’s presence in the ark rather than from God’s transcendent power.

Item Type: Published Articles
Repository Version: Metadata Only
Keywords: Slavoj Žižek, divine violence, Uzzah, ark of the covenant, book of Samuel
Fields of Research: 22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2204 Religion and Religious Studies > 220401 Christian Studies (incl. Biblical Studies and Church History)
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970122 Expanding Knowledge in Philosophy and Religious Studies
Type of Activity: Pure Basic Research
Subjects: B - Biblical Studies, general
College/Association with University of Divinity: Trinity College Theological School
Depositing User: Dr Suman Kashyap
Date Deposited: 17 Apr 2019 02:58
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2019 02:58
URI: http://repository.divinity.edu.au/id/eprint/3627

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