Academic journal article Currents in Theology and Mission

Sacred Witness: Rape in the Hebrew Bible

Academic journal article Currents in Theology and Mission

Sacred Witness: Rape in the Hebrew Bible

Article excerpt

Sacred Witness: Rape in the Hebrew Bible. By Susanne Scholz. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2010. xvi and 279 pages. Hardback. $35.00.

This book invites readers to wrestle with difficult biblical texts about sexual violence for several reasons. One is that the texts reside in the canon of Holy Scripture and, therefore, command attention and interpretation by those who claim these scriptures. Another is that the texts are read in a contemporary context in which sexual violence is prevalent throughout the world. Scholz wants to expose the "long androcentric history of interpretation" (5) by grounding her reading of the texts "in a feminist hermeneutic that honors the perspectives of raped victim-survivors" (5).

The book's chapters organize biblical texts thematically by a particular form or rape: acquaintance rape (chapter 1), the rape of women subjugated by gender and class (chapter 2), marital tape fantasies (chapter 3), gang rape (chapter 5), and the rape of men (chapter 6). Chapter 4 describes ancient laws against rape. Chapter 7 examines the prophetic rhetoric of rape, especially Troubling since God is often portrayed as the husband punishing the nation of Israel for sexual adultery. …

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