Ideology and intertextuality: Intertextual allusions in Judith 16
This article utilised the theory of intertextuality to investigate the way in which religious texts, specifically Judith 16, generate meaning in the act of the production of texts. The groundbreaking work on intertextuality done by Julia Kristeva served as the theoretical point of departure. Kristeva utilised Mikhail Bakhtin’s literary theory to develop her own views on intertextuality. According to the theory of intertextuality, all texts are intersections of different texts and are therefore polyvalent. The article argued that the ideology (or ideologies) of author(s) of texts underpin the ways in which other texts are used and alluded to. The purpose of the investigation was to illustrate how intertextual allusions in Judith 16 are used to describe ‘God/the Lord’ as a God of war and, thereby, to maintain an already existing ideology of war:
We know now that a text is not a line of words releasing a single ‘theological’ meaning (the ‘message’ of the Author-God) but a multi-dimensional space in which a variety of writings, none of them original, blend and clash. The text is a tissue of quotations drawn from the innumerable centres of culture. (Barthes, cited in Beal 1992:27)
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