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HTS Theological Studies

On-line version ISSN 2072-8050
Print version ISSN 0259-9422


HOBYANE, Risimati S.; KANONGE, Dickh M.  and  JORDAAN, Pierre. Gender and leadership in Judith: A Greimassian contribution. Herv. teol. stud. [online]. 2018, vol.74, n.3, pp.1-9. ISSN 2072-8050.

The structuring of the narrative with characters assigned to fulfil particular roles is often indicative of an author's possible intent. Thus, characterisation, in a story, is not neutral about its rhetorical intent; it generally reveals cultural values that the author or editor desires to either promote or reject, within a community. Judith seems to support this claim, in relation to the issue of Jewish leadership within the narrative. In more recent years, Judith has attracted the attention of many scholars and accordingly, a number of intuitive contributions have already been made to this particular area of research. However, the story is still capable of yielding far more detail concerning, inter alia, the blunders made within the Jewish religious leadership at the time. In this regard, this article attempts to uncover the real concern about the nature of Jewish leadership as encapsulated in the narrative of Judith using a Greimassian semiotic approach. Following the results from the analysis, the article contends that in the context of the narrative, Judaism not only suffered adversity from external forces but also from within, because of the deficiency of its own leadership. For this reason, an alternative leadership personified by Judith, rooted in spiritual values, was desired.

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