Landscapes of the Song of Songs: Poetry and Place

ISBN : 9780190619015

Elaine T. James
351 Pages
156 x 235 mm
Pub date
Sep 2017
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In this masterful new study of the ancient poetry of The Song of Songs, Elaine T. James explores the Song's underlying interest in the natural world. Engaging with the fields of geography, landscape architecture, and literature, James critiques the tendency of scholars to reify a perceived dichotomy between "nature" and "culture" and instead argues that the poetic attention to landscape indicates an awareness of a viewer. Nature is here a poetic device that informs James's close-readings of agrarianism, gardens, cities, social control, and feminism and the gaze in the Song. With this two-fold emphasis on landscape and lyric, Landscape of the Song of Songs shows how the Song persistently envisions a world in which human lovers are embedded in the natural world, complexly enfolded in relationships of fragility and care.


1. Introduction: Landscape and Lyric
2. The Agrarian Landscape
3. The Garden
4. The Cityscape
5. The Map of the Body
6. Conclusion

About the author: 

Elaine T. James is Assistant Professor of Theology, St. Catherine University

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