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Scrolls of LoveRuth and the Song of Songs$
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Peter S. Hawkins and Lesleigh Cushing Stahlberg

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780823225712

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823225712.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use.date: 27 June 2022

“I Am Black and Beautiful”

“I Am Black and Beautiful”

(p.162) “I Am Black and Beautiful”
Scrolls of Love

André LaCocque

Fordham University Press

In vivid contrast to the prophetic writings, in which eros is employed only in condemnation, the Song of Songs affirms, even revels in, sensual life. In fact, the Song's eroticism is deliberately subversive in its challenge to the institutions of the Hellenistic era, the probable time of its composition. Nothing in the Song bows to convention. At one point, the Shulamite actually boasts about her loss of virtue. In short, the Song of Songs is highly iconoclastic, particularly when it is engaged in provocative intertextual play with such proscriptive or condemnatory sources as Genesis 3 and Hosea 3-4. The most nonreligious text among all biblical documents, it is also the most irreverent. This dialectical quality of the Song—its simultaneous play with flesh and spirit—can place its readers in a highly paradoxical bind.

Keywords:   prophetic writing, eros, sensual life, eroticism, Hellenistic era, Song of Songs, virtue, flesh, spirit

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