Missing Persons and Mistaken Identities: Women and Gender in Ancient Israel

Missing Persons and Mistaken Identities: Women and Gender in Ancient Israel

Missing Persons and Mistaken Identities: Women and Gender in Ancient Israel

Missing Persons and Mistaken Identities: Women and Gender in Ancient Israel

Synopsis

In these outstanding studies, Phyllis Bird retrieves the identities of women in ancient Israel through penetrating investigations of Israelite religion, the creation stories in Genesis, harlots and hierodules, and the interpretation and authority of the Bible.

Excerpt

The gains in feminist interpretation in recent years are immense. Indeed, since the publication of God and the Rhetoric of Sexuality by Phyllis Trible in Overtures in 1978, feminist practices in Scripture interpretation have become well established as inescapable and welcome perspectives in the midst of more general interpretive theory and practice. Few, if any, have contributed more to the effectiveness and cruciality of this fresh interpretive angle than Phyllis Bird. the present volume attests to her steadfastness in such an enterprise. Because this collection of essays stretches over the long period of her research, a longitudinal range evidences not only her maturing sensitivity about the issues but also her development and growing sophistication in hermeneutics more generally. Indeed, Bird can speak of the "interpretive legacy of representatives of the first generation" of feminist scholars. and while she stands in continuity and solidarity with their work, she has pursued her own quite distinctive course of study to our great gain.

It is now a commonplace to observe that patriarchal habits have dominated both the text and the history of interpretation. There is no doubt, moreover, that correction of such unfortunate perspectives has required determined and sustained advocacy. While Bird has shared the concern of feminist advocates, her work is of another sort, surely in the long run more durable and more persuasive than frontal advocacy. For along with her acute theological sensitivity, Bird is a discerning historian who proceeds by a study of the sociopolitical environment in which texts are placed, offering an account of the context that decisively impinges upon the voice of the text. Thus Bird is precisely the sort of scholar who can help most in facing texts that are ideologically tilted, combining the discipline of a critical historian and the sensitivity of a knowing theologian. Her several essays presented here make clear that moving beyond conventional ideological reading requires sustained attentiveness and technical competence along with a good deal of courage.

Theological exposition cannot simply read across the top of the text . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.