Feminism and Christian Tradition: An Annotated Bibliography and Critical Introduction to the Literature

By Mary-Paula Walsh | Go to book overview

10
Feminist Biblical Studies

Perhaps one of the most developed of the feminist theological literatures, the sources in feminist biblical studies are, for all intents and purposes, limitless. This chapter samples the feminist biblical literature with early studies reflecting both the critique of patriarchy and the recovery of women's experience within the biblical texts (e.g., Trible's early work "356"), and selected recent studies reflecting various strategies both to disclose feminist biblical insight (e.g., "372", "375", "383", "385", "398") and challenge established androcentric scholarship, whether fundamentalist "401" or symbolic "414". By way of chapter overview, reference works are presented first, with topical literatures then following and including: (1) feminist and womanist hermeneutical literatures; (2) selected feminist works in "Old" and "New" Testament perspectives; and last, the literature highlighting tensions between "biblical theology" generally and feminist biblical theology specifically. Among the more quoted sources here are: (1) Rosemary Radford Ruether's discussion of biblical hermeneutics as a process of creative interaction between traditional biblical prophetic and contemporary feminist perspectives "366" and Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza's discussion of "women-church" as a hermeneutical center for biblical interpretation "369". Other noted sources (as well as helpful overviews) are indicated throughout the chapter. Two final notes: First, it cannot be stressed strongly enough that the entries of this chapter focus on grounding and exemplary works defining the scope and frameworks of feminist biblical studies. Second, it must be noted that while feminist biblical studies is perhaps one of the most productive of the feminist theological literatures (across vitually all denominaions), it has not been without its critics, and especially so in the light of society's backlash against the feminist movement. See Faludi "822" for the discussion of this backlash and see Achtemeier "838", Stroup "844", and Witherington ("846, 847, 848") as examples of the biblical antifeminism that reflects and supports it.


A. Reference and Resources

1. Reference Works and General Bibliography

"342" Gruber, Mayer L. Women in the Biblical World: A Study Guide. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 1995.

This is the first in a projected two volume series, and according to its author, "This Guide is meant to provide scholars, clergy, seminarians, college students and all other interested people access to books and articles--both technical and semi-popular--which shed light on women in antiquity in Israel and Judah and the surrounding countries, which play a roleSn the entire corpus of sacred literature commonly called 'The Bible.' … "Moreover"… The first volume is meant to provide access to books and articles, which shed light on women in the world of Hebrew Scripture, which is commonly called 'The Old Testament' … "while the second volume will shed"… light on women in

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