Belonging in Genesis: Biblical Israel and the Politics of Identity Formation
Belonging in Genesis: Biblical Israel and the Politics of Identity Formation  -     By: Amanda Beckenstein Mbuvi
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Belonging in Genesis: Biblical Israel and the Politics of Identity Formation

Baylor University Press / 2016 / Paperback

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Stock No: WW587473


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Product Information

Title: Belonging in Genesis: Biblical Israel and the Politics of Identity Formation
By: Amanda Beckenstein Mbuvi
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 179
Vendor: Baylor University Press
Publication Date: 2016
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)
Weight: 2 pounds
ISBN: 1602587477
ISBN-13: 9781602587472
Stock No: WW587473

Publisher's Description

Genesis calls its readers into a vision of human community unconstrained by the categories that dominate modern thinking about identity. Genesis situates humanity within a network of nurture that encompasses the entire cosmos—only then introducing Israel not as a people, but as a promise. Genesis prioritizes a human identity that originates in the divine word and depends on ongoing relationship with God. Those called into this new mode of belonging must forsake the social definition that had structured their former life, trading it for an alternative that will only gradually take shape. In contrast to the rigidity that typifies modern notions, Genesis depicts identity as fundamentally fluid. Encounter with God leads to a new social self, not a "spiritual" self that operates only within parameters established in the body at birth.

In Belonging in Genesis, Amanda Mbuvi highlights the ways narrative and the act of storytelling function to define and create a community. Building on the emphasis on family in Genesis, she focuses on the way family storytelling is a means of holding together the interpretation of the text and the constitution of the reading community. Explicitly engaging the way in which readers regard the biblical text as a point of reference for their own (collective) identities leads to an understanding of Genesis as inviting its readers into a radically transformative vision of their place in the world.

Author Bio

Amanda Beckenstein Mbuvi is Assistant Professor of Religion at High Point University.

Editorial Reviews

A quality study based on a clearly articulated approach of applying family narratives to Genesis.


Mbuvi has produced an engaging and challenging exploration of Genesis, one that focuses on often neglected aspects of Genesis (such as genealogies), while also challenging deeply embedded assumptions of Western readers. Though relatively brief, the study covers much ground, probing notions of identity in light of race, gender, ethnicity, and colonialism.


Academically rigorous and coherent


A very welcome addition to recent scholarship about Genesis and about the politics of text and identity more generally.


This book is a fascinating literary reading of Genesis that is informed by scholarship on identity formation, oral cultures, and social anthropology and is recommended for scholars, preachers, teachers, and students of Genesis.


…this book asks important and timely questions about Genesis and contemporary concepts of difference.

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