Journal Article

The Lattice and the Looking Glass: Gendered Space in Song of Songs 2:8–14

Christopher Meredith

in Journal of the American Academy of Religion

Published on behalf of American Academy of Religion

Volume 80, issue 2, pages 365-386
Published in print June 2012 | ISSN: 0002-7189
Published online May 2012 | e-ISSN: 1477-4585 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jaarel/lfs021
The Lattice and the Looking Glass: Gendered Space in Song of Songs 2:8–14

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This article examines the construction of space and gender in the biblical Song of Songs, considering the connections that exist between spatial configuration, perception, and power in the poem. Can the obvious dyad of male/female hold, or do we see the thresholds between spatial and gendered categories breaking down in the biblical text? And, moreover, is using theory to trumpet the dissolution of categories itself too simple an approach to literary spatiality and gendered identity? I argue that the social construction of space is not restricted to the making of “real” worlds on one side of the text and the making of spaces by character interactions on the other. Spatial production continues between person and page. Crucially, the social, sexual, and political geometries we use to construct our imaginary landscapes can, like the biblical lovers' own imaginarium, have a dramatic effect on the type of worlds in which we find ourselves participating.

Journal Article.  8376 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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