Tuesday, November 03, 2015

On female beauty in ANE antiquity

ASOR BLOG: Who’s the Fairest of them all? Feminine Beauty in the Hebrew Bible and Iron Age Ivory Sculpture (Amy Rebecca Gansell).
Beauty is a beast. It is a powerful phenomenon that inspires and challenges us yet today. In the era of the Hebrew Bible, ivory sculptures of women presented visual and tactile models of female attractiveness, while the scripture demonstrated beauty’s positive and negative potential. In biblical culture the ideal concurrence of inner and outer beauty seems to have ultimately supported social and cultural values rooted in spousal fidelity and childbearing. Thus, women of all classes could aspire to and be celebrated for their beauty, inside and out.
This recent post pertaining to female beauty in the Talmud makes for an interesting comparison.