Within the Hebrew Bible, Judges 4-5 tells the lurid tale of the heroic determine of Jael, a girl who seduces the Canaanite normal Sisera after which nails his head to the floor with a tent-peg, hence saving Israel from the troops of King Sabin. This grotesque story has lengthy intrigued students and artists alike. the numerous models of the tale that experience seemed in paintings and literature have many times and creatively equipped at the gendered subject matters of the culture, frequently seeing within the come across among Jael and Sisera a few basic fact concerning the dating among men and women.
In Sex and Slaughter within the Tent of Jael, Colleen Conway deals the 1st sustained examine how this biblical culture has been used artistically to articulate and tell cultural debates approximately gender. She lines the cultural retellings of this tale in poems, prints, work, performs, and narratives throughout many centuries, starting with its visual appeal in Judges 4-5 and carrying on with as much as the current day. as soon as separated from its unique theological context, the Jael/Sisera culture turns into principally approximately gender id, quite the clash among the sexes. Conway examines the ways that Jael has been reimagined by means of turns as a wily seductress, passionate lover, pissed off and bored mom, peace-bringing earth goddess, and lethal cyborg murderer. in the meantime, Sisera variously performs the enemy common, the seduced lover, the noble yet tragically duped sufferer, and the violent male chauvinist. eventually, Conway demonstrates that the ways that Jael's activities are defined and assessed all rely on whilst, by means of whom, and for whom the Jael and Sisera tale is being informed. In reading the various inventive renditions of the tale, this publication additionally offers a case learn of the Bible's function as a standard cultural source in secular western culture.