To christen my move to wordpress I thought it was a great time to post up my first scholarly article. Well, that and I just received the current issue of Perspectives in Religious Studies that features it! Please check out ATLA to read it. The full bibliography is below.
Briefly, as a means of introduction, my research interests lie in the texts of deception in the Jacob cycle. As I read the secondary scholarly literature on the topic, I was particularly struck by the failure to look at these texts theologically–i.e., to ask the question “what about God?” All too often, I aver, scholarship has emphasized the human characters (and their deceptions) to the detriment of the central character in the text: God. It seems quite clear to me that despite God not appearing consistently throughout, the moments of theophany are seminal in their revealing that God has indeed been at work ‘behind the scenes’ throughout. Given this understanding, I have ‘coined’ the phrase “a theology of deception.” My goal in this article–as well as in my dissertation–is to look at God’s role in (and despite the loaded language, complicity in) the deceptions/trickery of Genesis.
This article treats the Jacob/Laban material specifically. I am pleased to have had several other sets of eyes read and comment on it recently, among them the senior Hebrew Bible editor at a major publisher, and Walter Brueggemann. Both offered very positive reviews, for which I am thankful given the nature of the topic. In fact, Brueggemann and I have tentative plans to get together at SBL in light of his reading of this piece.
If anyone feels so compelled to cite the article, here is the full bibliographic reference:
John E. Anderson, “Jacob, Laban, and a Divine Trickster: The Covenantal Framework of God’s Deception in the Theology of the Jacob Cycle,” Perspectives in Religious Studies 36 (2009): 3-23.
Search for it on ATLA.