Divine silence in Stefan Heym's "The King David Report"

  • This essay deals with Stefan Heym's "King David Report" as a work of artistically-based biblical scholarship rather than a work of political allegory related to the writer's experience in the East Block during the Cold War. I consider Baruch Halpern's notion of complementary causation (the attribution of causes behind given biblical events to divine and human agency at the same time) in connection to King David's seduction of Bathsheba and the subsequent murder of Bathsheba's husband in 2 Samuel. I try to demonstrate Heym's refusal to attribute complementary causation to the biblical events in order to expose David and Solomon as Machiavellian autocrats rather than instruments of God. Given that (according to Baruch Halpern) the biblical story of David is an apologia of Solomon's illegitimate rule, Stefan Heym's novel undermines the traditional view of Solomon as a Christ type and a great Israelite monarch. Heym's position is contrasted with the deeply ingrained tradition in Judeo-Christian culture of seeing David's life in terms of complementary causation. The conclusion seeks to illustrates Heym's general philosophic stance that makes spirituality and power incompatible.

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Author:Vladimir Tumanov
Parent Title (English):Neophilologus
Place of publication:Dordrecht
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2009
Year of first Publication:2009
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2014/12/30
GND Keyword:Altes Testament; Samuel <Buch>, I. II.; David <Israel, König>; Salomo <Israel, König>; Heym, Stefan / Der König David Bericht
Page Number:18
First Page:499
Last Page:509
Dewey Decimal Classification:8 Literatur / 83 Deutsche und verwandte Literaturen / 830 Literaturen germanischer Sprachen; Deutsche Literatur
Sammlungen:Germanistik / GiNDok
CompaRe | Allgemeine und Vergleichende Literaturwissenschaft
BDSL-Klassifikation:18.00.00 20. Jahrhundert (1945-1989) / BDSL-Klassifikation: 18.00.00 20. Jahrhundert (1945-1989) > 18.14.00 Zu einzelnen Autoren
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht