Feminists Progress as Biblical Scholars: Atlantic Editor Summarizes Their Efforts

By Witham, Larry | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), November 15, 1998 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Feminists Progress as Biblical Scholars: Atlantic Editor Summarizes Their Efforts


Witham, Larry, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


Three decades of feminist Bible scholarship, often accused of loving goddesses and hating St. Paul, actually has enlivened the future of American mainstream religion, a new book says.

Feminist Bible research has given energy to women in American religious life, uncovered real stories of biblical women and pushed to the fringes the more exotic, pop-feminist spirituality, said Cullen Murphy, author of "The Word According to Eve."

"It is going to change the ordinary outlook of ordinary people," Mr. Murphy said of the scholarship, much of it still hidden in specialized journals.

"People are always surprised to find that Mary Magdalene was not a prostitute," he said in an interview. Or that Miriam, sister of Moses and namesake of all women named Mary, was the first "prophet" in the Bible.

Feminist scholarship began with certain "big-ticket issues," Mr. Murphy said, such as the role of Eve in the fall and the place of women around Jesus and in the early church.

"I think they have met the sexist interpretation of the creation stories," said Mr. Murphy, who spent seven years watching the work of feminist Bible scholars in print, at universities and at meetings of the Society for Biblical Literature.

As a result of their work, he said, both liberal and conservative religions affirm the equality of man and woman and agree they share blame for the human fall.

Feminist scholars also have found, he said, "plenty of sanction for women's role in ministry."

While such findings have not reversed the Vatican ban on women priests or the conservative Southern Baptist stand against ordained women - based on St. Paul's writings - it has caught the popular imagination.

According to polls, 65 percent of American Catholics, including Mr. Murphy, managing editor of Atlantic magazine, believe women should be ordained.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Feminists Progress as Biblical Scholars: Atlantic Editor Summarizes Their Efforts
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?