THE RHETORIC OF BODY, CLOTHING AND IDENTITY IN THE VITA AND GENESIS

Dietmar Neufeld

Abstract


This paper will concentrate on the dynamic relationship between body, clothing, and
identity. Nakedness and clothing mark the bodies of Adam and Eve with religious,
political, and social distinction and other forms of embodied social meaning such as
the transition from one state to another, the transformation of bodies of honour to
bodies of shame, and the refashioning of the conduits of God’s power who is not
about to countenance challenges to his honour as benefactor of the cosmos and
humankind (Porter 1999, 4). In addition, the surfaces of their bodies are a
significant site for the production and display of difference and their physical
transformations and regulations essential to maintaining and regulating ancient
Israel’s power structures and social organization (Esler 2001, 26-30). In the Vita
and Genesis, the management of the bodies of Adam and Eve is integral to the
maintenance and definition of social relationship and rank between God and
humans, desires, and social identities.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7833/90-0-1058

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ISSN 2305-445X (online); ISSN 0254-1807 (print)

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