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Arbitrary RuleSlavery, Tyranny, and the Power of Life and Death$
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Mary Nyquist

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780226015538

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226015675.001.0001

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Human Sacrifice, Barbarism, and Buchanan’s Jephtha

Human Sacrifice, Barbarism, and Buchanan’s Jephtha

(p.92) CHAPTER THREE Human Sacrifice, Barbarism, and Buchanan’s Jephtha
Arbitrary Rule

Mary Nyquist

University of Chicago Press

This chapter focuses on Jephtha, a well-known military commander in early modern Europe honored in Christianity's New Testament as well as the central figure of a conflictual scene of human sacrifice narrated in the book of Judges. Its purpose is to tease out the ideological implications of early modern interpretations of the Jephtha narrative. The author's primary interest is in demonstrating how, when read in conjunction with both Christopherson's and Vondel's plays, Buchanan's representation of Jephtha's plight articulates what emerges only later in polemical and theoretical texts as an opposition between militarized patriarchal absolutism and justifications of political resistance, the latter of which gives pride of place to the tyrant who can be resisted, not the father whose authority is beyond dispute.

Keywords:   early modern Europe, Jephtha, Christianity's New Testament, human sacrifice, Christopherson, Vondel, Buchanan, militarized patriarchal absolutism, political resistance

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