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Old Testament Essays

versión On-line ISSN 2312-3621
versión impresa ISSN 1010-9919


TUSHIMA, Cephas. Homosexuality and Liminality in Sodom: The Quests for Home, Fun and Justice (Gen 19:1-29). Old testam. essays [online]. 2021, vol.34, n.1, pp.68-88. ISSN 2312-3621.

This essay explores the first segment of the Lot sub-narrative of the Abraham cycle (Gen 11:27-25:10). The study adopts a narrative close reading approach and canonical theological hermeneutical framework in its reading strategies (with the canon's reception history undergirding its plausibility structures), aiming ultimately at unfolding the world of possibilities of being-in-the-world in the text, particularly from an ethical standpoint. The study shows Lot, enmeshed in his sense of marginality from YHWH's repeated covenantal promises of progeny to Abraham, ditch time-tested tradition and embark on a quest for freedom and a home of his own, consequently, assuming significance and security in Sodom (where he sat on the city council at the gate). His initial assumed marginality in Abraham's home attains reality in Sodom, where the Sodomites desirous of 'having fun' with Lot's angelic guests (who were on a search for justice) reprimands Lot, a mere immigrant-in their view-for his audacity to rebuke them. The visitation of YHWH's justice on Sodom renders the self-serving Lot homeless, driving him to ultimate marginality, as he inhabits the liminal space of an incestuous cave dweller. A theologico-ethical appropriation of the narrative draws attention, first, to the temptation often to be so caring to outsiders and yet be so unkind to those closest to us (like Lot). Second, tradition is a stabilising force in society and jettisoning it unnecessarily creates cascading disequilibria. Third, alienation from God is the grand source of all liminality. Fourth, inordinate desires lead to choices that bring about a breakdown in the social order. Fifth, like Lot, we need to catch heaven's heartbeat for the oppressed and become voices for their justice in our time.

Palabras clave : Genesis; Lot; Abraham; Sodom; Narrative Criticism; Intertextuality; Immigrants; Homosexuality; Justice; Biblical Ethics.

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