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Christ ChildCultural Memories of a Young Jesus$
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Stephen J. Davis

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780300149456

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300149456.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM YALE SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.yale.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Yale University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in YSO for personal use.date: 13 April 2021

Cursing

Cursing

Chapter:
(p.64) 4 Cursing
Source:
Christ Child
Author(s):

Stephen J. Davis

Publisher:
Yale University Press
DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300149456.003.0004

Chapter 4 is the second of three cases studies on Graeco-Roman “sites of memory” for reading the “Childhood Deeds of Jesus.” The focus is on Jesus’ lethal acts of cursing in several of the stories, which are analyzed in relation to the complex relationship between children, cursing, and competition in antiquity. Examining evidence for the involvement of children in athletic and rhetorical competitions, the chapter reads Jesus’ maledictory speech in the work as a series of “agonistic” encounters. One story in particular, where a boy strikes Jesus in the shoulder and Jesus strikes the boy dead, serves as a particularly fertile context for understanding how Jesus’ language and actions are informed by philosophical and biblical assumptions about the soul's hegemony over the body and the performative power of speech acts.

Keywords:   Childhood, Cursing, Competition, Athletics, Philosophical Rhetoric

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