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Journal of the Bible and its Reception

Managing Editor: Kraemer, David / Marsengill, Katherine

Ed. by Black, Fiona C. / Oekland, Jorunn / MacDonald, Nathan / Ocker, Christopher

Together with Strawbridge, Jennifer R.

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“A Miner Knows Better Than Anybody You Have Little Power Over Mother Nature”: Exploring Genesis 1:26–31 and the Concepts of Control and Power with South Derbyshire Coal Miners

Tiffany Webster
  • Corresponding author
  • SIIBS (Sheffield Institute for Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies), The University of Sheffield, UK
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Published Online: 2015-11-06 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jbr-2015-0008


This article seeks to analyze a contextually-reflexive reading of Genesis 1:26–31 that was produced by a group of contemporary “ordinary” readers – in this case, a group of South Derbyshire coal miners. The coal miners used Genesis 1:26–31 as a literary platform upon which they interrogated two principal issues: How ‘masculinity’ is constructed, performed, understood, enforced, and legitimized in coal mining culture; and, what the relationship is between humanity and Earth. This resulted in a reading whereby an attempt was made to synthesize how a man’s understanding of ‘masculinity’ impacts upon his relationship with, and attitude towards, Earth.

Keywords: coal mining; Contextual Bible Study; dominion; Earth; Genesis; masculinity

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About the article

Corresponding author: Tiffany Webster, SIIBS (Sheffield Institute for Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies), The University of Sheffield, UK, e-mail:

Published Online: 2015-11-06

Published in Print: 2015-11-01

Citation Information: Journal of the Bible and its Reception, Volume 2, Issue 2, Pages 145–174, ISSN (Online) 2329-4434, ISSN (Print) 2329-440X, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jbr-2015-0008.

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Peter-Ben Smit
Brill Research Perspectives in Biblical Interpretation, 2017, Volume 2, Number 1, Page 1

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