Abstract

This article explores the relationships between sensation and embodiment alongside notions of exchange, economics, and collectivity in the postexilic writings of Haggai, Malachi, and Zech 1–8. I use the term embodied economics to describe how these texts envision the Judean community and its sensory-laden relations in terms of collection, exchange, and debt. This combination of economic and affective valences has critical implications for understanding the parameters of the prophetic task, of international relating, and especially the precise nature of Judean collectivity. In the history of scholarship, Haggai especially has been castigated for its “materialist” or “nationalistic” content. By contrast, the framework of embodiment invites the reader to think in a more textured way about the complex economic networks of deprivation, collection, and deferred satisfaction pictured in these texts. The idea of embodied economics illuminates the specific and consequential means by which the Judeans may constitute a legible, pleasing, and desirable collective within the postexilic prophetic imagination.

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