Friday, March 05, 2021

Quick, Dress, Adornment, and the Body in the Hebrew Bible (OUP)

Dress, Adornment, and the Body in the Hebrew Bible

Laura Quick

  • Provides a comprehensive overview of the history of dress and adornment in biblical literature and the wider eastern Mediterranean, including an up-to-date treatment of the archaeological and epigraphic evidence
  • Brings sociological and anthropological models into dialogue with philology and exegesis of ancient literary texts
  • Offers fresh insights into the complex relationship between the body, the self, and the other in ancient Israel

Dress, Adornment, and the Body in the Hebrew Bible is the first monograph to treat dress and adornment in biblical literature in the English language. It moves beyond a description of these aspects of ancient life to encompass notions of interpersonal relationships and personhood that underpin practices of dress and adornment. Laura Quick explores the ramifications of body adornment in the biblical world, informed by a methodologically plural approach incorporating material culture alongside philology, textual exegesis, comparative evidence, and sociological models.

Drawing upon and synthesizing insights from material culture and texts from across the eastern Mediterranean, the volume reconstructs the social meanings attached to the dressed body in biblical texts. It shows how body adornment can deepen understanding of attitudes towards the self in the ancient world. In Quick's reconstruction of ancient performances of the self, the body serves as the observed centre in which complex ideologies of identity, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and social status are articulated. The adornment of the body is thus an effective means of non-verbal communication, but one which at the same time is controlled by and dictated through normative social values. Exploring dress, adornment, and the body can therefore open up hitherto unexplored perspectives on these social values in the ancient world, an essential missing piece in understanding the social and cultural world which shaped the Hebrew Bible.


Published: 09 February 2021
256 Pages
ISBN: 9780198856818

I noted another recent book on related matters here. And a couple of PaleoJudaica posts on sartorial history and archaeology are here and here with links.

Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.