'Literary Features': Fact or Fiction?


This research group aims at providing a forum for scholars with an interest in “literary features” in the Hebrew Bible and other ancient Near Eastern texts. Features include widely found phenomena such as alliteration and paronomasia, but also the typical biblical parallelismus membrorum and other structurally embedded features such as chiasm and inclusio. In addition, also devices that exploit the double or multiple meanings of words are included, such as Janus parallelism and double entendre. The group is interested in the functionality of all of these features in textual corpora of the ancient Near East and in particular the Hebrew Bible. We welcome a broad variety of methodological approaches to tackle the following questions: what does a particular feature do in a text (from as small as a line to a large corpus of texts)? How does it affect the reading experience? How does it shape the meaning of a text? And finally, how do the feature, the reader, and the text produce meaning together?


(Cognitive) Stylistics, Hebrew BibleCognitive Linguistics, Literary Approaches, Interpretation


Elizabeth Hayes

Fuller Theological Seminary 

Karolien Vermeulen

University of Antwerp 

Member Area

Syracuse 2023 Call for Papers

The EABS Research Group “Literary Features: Fact or Fiction” is seeking proposals for two sessions in Syracuse 2022. A first session will focus on women’s songs in the Hebrew Bible and other related texts, such as the song of Miriam, Deborah, or Judith. What does a stylistic analysis of these songs reveal? Potential points of interest include the style’s effect on characterisation, message of the song, the songs as a genre, and overall interpretation of the larger text in which the song is embedded. Songs can be studied separately or as a group. Possible approaches include but are not limited to poetic analyses, prototype analysis, literary approaches, and conceptual metaphor theory. A second session will be open to all who work on the literary and/or stylistic nature of the Bible and other related ancient Near Eastern texts. We welcome in particular papers that are methodologically innovative and/or engage with some aspect of (cognitive) stylistics.