Vice-Regent Fr Bruno Clifton launches new book

4th May 2022

Blackfriars’ Vice-Regent, Rev Dr Bruno Clifton OP is launching his new work on the Book of Judges on 17 May, in a hybrid in-person and online event.

This recently published monograph, Family and Identity in the Book of Judges, is the product of many years of research that started life as a PhD thesis. The Old Testament book of Judges has often been taken as window into social life in ancient Israel. But what if this context was brought back to the stories? Culturally significant literature resonates with people because it expresses, contemplates, and challenges social values and expectations, producing highly meaningful tales of adversity, loss, counsel, and triumph; issues understood through the lens of family and identity.

Fr Bruno commented:

“After occupying seven years of my life, it feels like the end of an era to see this book in print. I first took notice of Judges studying biblical Hebrew at the Pontifical Biblical Institute when the cultural nuances of the literature became more apparent through linguistic idioms. I followed my interest in the cultural world proposed by Judges into doctoral research at the University of Cambridge. This research revealed the significance of family identity for behavioural values, a dynamic I saw at work in the book’s folkloric drama. After the PhD I wanted to pursue this topic more thoroughly and was able to spend time at the École Biblique et Archéologique Française in Jerusalem allowing me to complete this monograph. I am so grateful to all those whose expertise, scholarship and encouragement helped me along the way.”

Publisher’s Description

Bruno J. Clifton examines Israel’s family dynamics and identity politics in the dramatic narratives of Judges. This is an interdisciplinary study that brings socio-anthropological research into dialogue with the history and culture of ancient Israel. The monograph discusses the social experiences and interactions through which people in Israel might have viewed their place in the world. Institutions such as hospitality, marriage and community leadership are examined and the ethnicity, culture, social landscape, family life, and literature of ancient Israel are explored with a view to determining what impact the understanding of identity has on the interpretation of the stories in the Book of Judges.

Download Publisher’s Flyer

Book Launch event

All are welcome to join us either in person or via Zoom. Click the button below for more details.

Event Details & Zoom Link