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Grant number like: FA-52310-06

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Saul Mitchell Olyan
Brown University (Providence, RI 02912-9100)

Fellowships for University Teachers
Research Programs

$24,000 (approved)
$24,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2006 – 12/31/2006

Disability in the Hebrew Bible and Ancient Jewish Biblical Interpretation

Disability, though ubiquitous in biblical texts, remains barely acknowledged by specialists as a subject worthy of serious study. In contrast, I seek to reconstruct the Hebrew Bible's particular ideas of what is disabling and the social ramifications of those ideas, with comparative attention to notions of disability in the wider West Asian cultural sphere. I will also examine how ancient Jewish interpreters of biblical texts build on or reconfigure biblical ideas of disability. Besides contributing to the mainstreaming of disability in biblical studies, I intend to contribute to disability history and to theoretical work on disability more broadly through my study.