Over the centuries, Jewish and Muslim writers transformed the biblical Queen of Sheba from a clever, politically astute sovereign to a demonic force threatening the boundaries of gender. In this book, Jacob Lassner shows how successive retellings of the biblical story reveal anxieties about gender and illuminate the processes of cultural transmission.
The Bible presents the Queen of Sheba's encounter with King Solomon as a diplomatic mission: the queen comes "to test him with hard questions," all of which he answers to her satisfaction; she then praises him and, after an exchange of gifts, returns to her own land. By the Middle Ages, Lassner demonstrates, the focus of the queen's visit had shifted from international to sexual politics. The queen was now portrayed as acting in open defiance of nature's equilibrium and God's design. In these retellings, the authors humbled the queen and thereby restored the world to its proper condition.
Lassner also examines the Islamization of Jewish themes, using the dramatic accounts of Solomon and his female antagonist as a test case of how Jewish lore penetrated the literary imagination of Muslims. Demonizing the Queen of Sheba thus addresses not only specialists in Jewish and Islamic studies, but also those concerned with issues of cultural transmission and the role of gender in history.
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Jacob Lassner is the Phillip M. and Ethel Klutznick Professor Emeritus of Jewish Civilization and professor of history and religion at Northwestern University. His numerous works include The Middle East Remembered, Jews and Muslims in the Arab World, and Islam in the Middle Ages.About the Author:
Jacob Lassner is Distinguished Professor of Near Eastern and Asian Studies and director of the Cohn-Haddow Center of Judaic Studies at Wayne State University.
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Book Description University Of Chicago Press, 1993. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0226469158
Book Description Univ of Chicago. Book Condition: BRAND NEW. BRAND NEW Softcover A Brand New Quality Book from a Full-Time Bookshop in business since 1992!. Bookseller Inventory # 2099856
Book Description Univ of Chicago. Book Condition: BRAND NEW. BRAND NEW Softcover A Brand New Quality Book from a Full-Time Bookshop in business since 1992!. Bookseller Inventory # 2340208
Book Description University of Chicago press. Book Condition: New. Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 0226469158
Book Description Univ of Chicago Pr, 1993. Paperback. Book Condition: Brand New. 1st edition. 308 pages. 9.25x6.25x0.75 inches. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # 0226469158