The Lot Complex

For Wednesday’s class, we’ll focus on the Lot sequence in Genesis 19-20.  Re-read this brief section and also read The Lot Complex chapter by Robert Polhemus, which comes from his 2005 book, Lot’s Daughters:  Sex, Redemption, and Women’s Quest for Authority.

After reading the biblical account and then the essay, we should realize that there are a number of “problems” with this story, especially if we’re to take the Genesis accounts as a treatise on human behavior or as commentary on family values of any kind.  It could be that this account is trying to express something different about how men and women relate to one another.

What specific elements of the Lot story pose a problem of interpretation? That is, what elements strike you as strange, improbable, unlikely, or difficult to square with “good sense?”

How does Polhemus use the Lot story to form an idea of “The Lot Complex?” Is his interpretation and application of psychological principles useful to understand the biblical account?

In what ways is the Lot account a meditation on fundamental human desires?

Can you think of any “contemporary” examples of the Lot Complex playing out in our culture today?


About Andrew Battista

Andrew Battista is Librarian for Geospatial Information Systems at New York University
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