and Woman as Evil
What persuades men and women to mistake each other from
time to time for gods or vermin is ideology. (Eagleton, Ideol-
Because this book focuses on literary (biblical) texts, I devote this chapter to the method by which I will analyze these texts. I call this method "ideological criticism": a materialist-feminist reading of the text that understands literature as an ideological production of social praxis, which itself is governed by ideology.1 While a number of materialist readings of the Bible exist,2 there are very few materialist-feminist investigations of it.3
I find the theoretical basis for my readings in Marxist literary critics, who have, in my opinion, been the most successful critical theorists in bringing together the text and its social world. Inverting the idealist philosophies of Hegel and his followers, Marx argues that all mental (ideological) systems are the products of real social and economic relations:
In direct contrast to German philosophy which descends from heaven
to earth, here we ascend from earth to heaven. That is to say, we do
not set out from what men say, imagine, conceive, nor from men as
narrated, thought of, imagined, conceived, in order to arrive at men in
the flesh. We set out from real, active men, and on the basis of their
real life-process we demonstrate the development of the ideological
reflexes and echoes of this life-process…. Life is not determined by
consciousness, but consciousness by life.4
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Publication information: Book title: Poor Banished Children of Eve: Woman as Evil in the Hebrew Bible. Contributors: Gale A. Yee - Author. Publisher: Fortress Press. Place of publication: Minneapolis. Publication year: 2003. Page number: 9.
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