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Committee Members

David Barr (Committee Chair), Ava Chamberlain (Advisor), Andrea Harris (Committee Member), Mark Verman (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Master of Humanities (MHum)


This analysis responds to an ongoing debate between feminist and traditional readings of sexually violent (SV) metaphors in the prophetic texts of Hosea, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel, and the New Testament book of Revelation. Whereas feminist scholars have often argued that such metaphors are built upon the exploitation of women's sexuality, traditionalist scholars have insisted that the metaphors are merely literary devices that should only be read within their historical and literary contexts. Taking a moderate position, this analysis uses the cognitive metaphor theory to explain that the SV metaphors depend on cognitive associations of dangerous feminine sexuality to relate to historically-specific concerns of the original authors and audiences. This analysis then examines said historically-specific concerns to reveal the literary function of the metaphors in their original contexts. Finally, this analysis closes by considering current sociopsychological concerns that cause contemporary society to continue relying on the same cognitive associations of dangerous feminine sexuality as seen the SV metaphors.

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Year Degree Awarded