Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities

Political Myth and the Bible: Critical Theory, Politics and the Problem of Mythic Narrative in the Bible

Roland Boer.

This paper deals with two problems, namely the absence of a sophisticated and critical theory of literary production in the Bible and the need for a positive theory of political myth in contemporary politics. In dealing with these problems, I begin with the argument that political myth is the key category for understanding the texts of Genesis to Joshua in the Bible. In order to do so, insights from psychoanalysis, feminism and Marxism will be used to argue that such myth concerns the possibilities and limits concerning the crucial issues of gender, political economics and the psyche. Given the continued influence and use of these biblical narratives, I move on to consider the negative and positive effects of the role of “Israel” in the notion of the Australian nation-state. Finally, the project explores the possibility of developing viable and positive political myths today.


Roland Boer  (Australia)
Logan Research Fellow
Centre for Studies in Religion and Theology
Monash University

  • Political Myth
  • Bible
  • International Politics

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)