BALFOUR, RORY,JOHN (2022) THE REJECTED:
TOWARDS UNDERSTANDING THE BIBLICAL PORTRAYALS
OF ESAU AND KING SAUL. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.
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In the present thesis I examine the biblical presentation of Esau and King Saul and their respective rejections within a Christian theological frame of reference. I do so in conversation with various significant interpreters past and present. In Part 1 I discuss the rejection of Esau in conversation with John Calvin and Jon D. Levenson. In Part 2 I offer an account of the rejection of Saul in conversation with Karl Barth and various contemporary tragic readings.
I suggest that Esau’s exclusion from the line of promise is presented, through the ambiguous oracle of Genesis 25.23, in such a way as to limit confident human speech about divine decision making. As such, all discussion of Esau’s rejection must take on a deeply provisional dimension. In terms of Saul’s rejection, I argue that it is presented as the outcome of a responsive dynamic in YHWH’s relationship with him. YHWH rejects Saul in response to his actions. The rejection of Esau can be read, in Christian theological terms, as displaying the transcendent dimension in God’s decision making. By contrast, the rejection of Saul displays the immanent, responsive element in God’s decision making. I conclude by suggesting that both are crucial in a responsible Christian account of divine rejection.
|Item Type:||Thesis (Doctoral)|
|Award:||Doctor of Philosophy|
|Faculty and Department:||Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Theology and Religion, Department of|
|Copyright:||Copyright of this thesis is held by the author|
|Deposited On:||24 Jan 2022 11:13|