Battered Love: Marriage, Sex, and Violence in the Hebrew Prophets

Battered Love: Marriage, Sex, and Violence in the Hebrew Prophets

Battered Love: Marriage, Sex, and Violence in the Hebrew Prophets

Battered Love: Marriage, Sex, and Violence in the Hebrew Prophets

Synopsis

This provocative work by a leading African American biblical scholar delves deeply into issues of intimacy and power, violence and control, seduction and betrayal, and is a searing indictment of the axial points of Israelite religion-its covenantal and prophetic traditions-and their authority today.

Excerpt

In one of the early volumes of Overtures to Biblical Theology, and one of its finest and most enduring, Phyllis Trible anticipated much of the subsequent conversation about the Bible and critical feminist thought. in God and the Rhetoric of Sexuality she introduced important methodological questions and possibilities while insisting, against much feminism that found the Bible hopelessly patriarchal, that it is the concreteness of the text and its specific rhetoric that must concern us.

It is a long way from Phyllis Trible in 1978 to Renita Weems in 1995. a great deal has happened concerning method in scripture study, and a great deal has happened as well in the development of critical feminism. We now are much more self-conscious about the connections between speech, power, and social reality. It is likely, moreover, that neither Trible nor Weems would like to be held too closely to the work of the other. Nonetheless, for all their differences of perspective and methodology, the two authors share an agenda and much more. I am glad that Overtures has been one arena for the development of this important discussion.

It was Trible who invited serious and sustained reflection on metaphor as a primary mode of biblical articulation. Indeed, Cynthia Ozick in Memory and Metaphor, has suggested more recently that metaphor belongs characteristically and defini-

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