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The less-discussed character in the Bible is the woman: two talking animals therein have sometimes received more page space. This volume shines the light of close scrutiny in the less-trodden direction and focuses on biblical and allied women, or on the feminine side of Creation. Biblical women are compared to mythical characters from the wider Middle East or from contemporary literature, and feminist/womanist perspectives are discussed alongside traditional and theological perspectives.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
Availability: In stock
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-4632-0231-6
  • *
Publication Status: In Print

Publication Date: Jul 11,2013
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 346
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-4632-0231-6
$168.00
$100.80

The less-discussed character in the Bible is the woman: two talking animals therein have sometimes received more page space. Yet, in almost every important pericope or story involving a famous man, one finds that a woman plays an important role also. There is no Isaac without Sarah; no Ishmael without Hagar; no Moses without his sister and the Egyptian princess; no Barak without Deborah; no David without Bathsheba; and no Ahab without Jezebel, to name but a few. What separates the two is merely the focus of the story-teller. Focus, not value judgment, is the deciding factor.

This volume shines the light of close scrutiny in the less-trodden direction and focuses on biblical and allied women, or on the feminine side of Creation. Due to numerous constraints, this focus centers on a few, selected female characters. Essays were contributed by thoughtful women and men from many corners of the globe: Israeli, South African, Norwegian, North American (Canadian and U.S.A.), British, and Scottish. In some cases, poets sing the praises of women; in others, biblical women are compared to mythical characters from the wider Middle East or from contemporary literature. Feminist/womanist perspectives are discussed alongside traditional and theological perspectives. But how women are celebrated musically and how they are discussed by modern, non-academic women from Christian and Islamic traditions also finds a place within this volume. The reader will appreciate the breadth of discussion contained in these essays, and will revisit them often in her/his reading interests.

John T. Greene is Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies and Research Scholar at Michigan State University in the U.S.A. His major foci are Scriptural and Historical Studies and Middle Eastern Archaeology. Mishael M. Caspi is Professor of Religion and Middle East Culture (Ret.) at Bates College, Maine in the U.S.A. He is a Research Scholar and poet. Both co-editors co-convene the Seminar in Biblical Characters in Three Traditions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) at the Annual, International Meeting(s) of the Society of Biblical Literature.

Cover: Susannah and the Elders, by Giuseppe Bartolomeo Chiari, oil on canvas.

The less-discussed character in the Bible is the woman: two talking animals therein have sometimes received more page space. Yet, in almost every important pericope or story involving a famous man, one finds that a woman plays an important role also. There is no Isaac without Sarah; no Ishmael without Hagar; no Moses without his sister and the Egyptian princess; no Barak without Deborah; no David without Bathsheba; and no Ahab without Jezebel, to name but a few. What separates the two is merely the focus of the story-teller. Focus, not value judgment, is the deciding factor.

This volume shines the light of close scrutiny in the less-trodden direction and focuses on biblical and allied women, or on the feminine side of Creation. Due to numerous constraints, this focus centers on a few, selected female characters. Essays were contributed by thoughtful women and men from many corners of the globe: Israeli, South African, Norwegian, North American (Canadian and U.S.A.), British, and Scottish. In some cases, poets sing the praises of women; in others, biblical women are compared to mythical characters from the wider Middle East or from contemporary literature. Feminist/womanist perspectives are discussed alongside traditional and theological perspectives. But how women are celebrated musically and how they are discussed by modern, non-academic women from Christian and Islamic traditions also finds a place within this volume. The reader will appreciate the breadth of discussion contained in these essays, and will revisit them often in her/his reading interests.

John T. Greene is Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies and Research Scholar at Michigan State University in the U.S.A. His major foci are Scriptural and Historical Studies and Middle Eastern Archaeology. Mishael M. Caspi is Professor of Religion and Middle East Culture (Ret.) at Bates College, Maine in the U.S.A. He is a Research Scholar and poet. Both co-editors co-convene the Seminar in Biblical Characters in Three Traditions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) at the Annual, International Meeting(s) of the Society of Biblical Literature.

Cover: Susannah and the Elders, by Giuseppe Bartolomeo Chiari, oil on canvas.

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Contributor Biography

John Greene

John T. Greene is Emeritus Professor of Religious Studies at Michigan State University. He holds the Ph.D. from Boston University, and the A.B. and Master Degrees from the University of Detroit. He has written extensively on issues of scriptural and historical studies and Middle Eastern archaeology.

Mishael Caspi

Dr. Mishael M. Caspi is a retired Professor of Religion at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. Dr. Caspi holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies from the University of California at Berkeley. He has written extensively on Biblical Studies, Talmudic Studies, and Islamica. Dr. John T. Greene is Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan. Dr. Greene holds a Ph.D. in Scriptural and Historical Studies from Boston University. He has written extensively on Archaeology of Bethsaida, Communication theory and Praxis, and History of Religions.

Zohar Hadromi-Allouche

Jay Harold Ellens

Born in a remote rural setting in northern Michigan, Dr. Ellens acquired his college education at Calvin College and graduate degrees at Calvin Theological Seminary, Princeton Theological Seminary, Wayne State University, and the University of Michigan. He holds a PhD in the Psychology of Human Communications and a PhD in Second Temple Judaism and Christian Origins. He is now a retired church theologian, university professor, and US Army Colonel. He continues his work as international lecturer, psychotherapist in private practice, and author of numerous volumes in theology, psychology, communications, human sexuality, and pastoral care.

Alisa Meyuhas Ginio

Naomi Graetz

alternative address 17740 Merridy St. #19 Northridge CA 91325

Ann Hege Grung

Marianne Bjelland Kartzow

Sophia Magallanes

Yitzak Peleg

Azila T. Reisenberger

Suzanne Scholtz

Max Stern

Ruthanne Wrobel

  • Table of Contents (page 5)
  • Abbreviations (page 7)
  • Mishael M. Caspi and John T. Greene, "Prolegomenon with Sudden Passion, Sudden Pain: In the Arms of the Biblical Women" (page 9)
    • A. She Was Jealous (page 9)
    • B. Serving the King (page 17)
  • Zohar Hadromi-Allouche, "Creating Eve: Feminine Fertility in Medieval Islamic Narratives of Eve and Adam" (page 35)
    • Introduction (page 35)
    • A. Background: The Bible and the Quran (page 36)
      • 1. The biblical narrative (page 36)
        • Paradise and fertility (page 37)
      • 2. The Qur’anic narratives (page 38)
      • 3. Extra Qur’anic literature (page 40)
    • B. Politics of Power: Masculine-feminine Fertility Relationship (page 43)
      • 1. Eve as a secondary creation (page 43)
        • a. Creation from the rib (page 43)
        • b. Implications of creation from the rib (page 44)
        • c. Creation from earth (page 46)
        • d. Naming Eve: Islamic etymology (page 48)
      • 2. Eve as a second-class fertility agent (page 50)
      • 3. Negation of feminine fertility attributes (page 52)
        • Eve the murderess (page 55)
        • Feminine characteristics as a blessing? (page 55)
      • 4. Rejecting Eves nurturing capacities (page 57)
      • 5. Masculine domination over feminine fertility potential (page 60)
        • Legal implications of Adams dominationover feminine fertility (page 62)
      • 6. Independence of masculine fertility potential (page 63)
        • A thread of ones own: spinning as a reminiscent representation of Eves life-giving potential (page 65)
    • Summary (page 66)
    • Bibliography (page 68)
  • Anne Hege Grung, "Hagar as a Bad Mother, Hagar as an Icon of Faith: The Hagar Narratives from the Islamic and the Christian Traditions Discussed Among Muslim and Christian Women in Norway" (page 73)
    • Introduction (page 73)
      • Genesis 21 (page 73)
      • Al-Bukhari, Vol. 4, Book 55, Number 583 (page 74)
    • Situating the Readers and Presenting the Methodology of the Project (page 77)
    • Mapping the Hermeneutical Situation: Plural Encounters (page 78)
    • Figurating and Refigurating Hagar in the Discussions: Bad Mother or Icon of Faith? (page 79)
    • Meaning-Making Tools: Analogical Reasoning and Ethical Critique/Moral Enrichment of the Texts (page 81)
    • Meaning-Making of the Hagar Narratives: What is Seen as the Core Message(s)? (page 84)
    • Co-reading„Can it Change Anything In Contemporary Muslim-Christian Relations? (page 85)
    • Bibliography (page 85)
  • Alisa Meyuhas Ginio, "The Biblical Matriarch Sarah as Conceived by Rabbi Yaakov Khulíin his Work Meam Loez (1730)„A Ladino Commentary on the Book of Genesis" (page 87)
  • Marianne Bjelland Kartzow, "On Naming and Blaming: Hagars God-talk in Jewish and Early Christian Sources" (page 105)
    • Introduction (page 105)
      • Hagar (page 106)
    • Theoretical Framework: Intersectionality and Memory (page 109)
    • The Travelling Memory of Hagars Talking and Naming (page 112)
      • Josephus and Philo (page 112)
      • Rabbinic Literature (page 113)
      • Church Fathers (page 115)
    • Conclusion (page 117)
    • Ancient Sources (page 119)
    • Secondary Literature (page 120)
  • Naomi Graetz, "The Concubine of Gibeah: The Case for Reading Intertextually" (page 129)
    • What is Intertextual Reading? (page 129)
    • Examples of Intertextual Readings (page 131)
    • Judges 19: the Concubine (Pilegesh) At Gibeah (page 133)
      • Daber al lev (page 135)
    • Favorable and Unfavorable Approaches to the Expression (page 136)
      • Favorable Readings (page 136)
      • An Unfavorable Reading (page 140)
    • The Missing Mention of Daber Al Lev: 2 Sam 13 (page 147)
    • Conclusion (page 150)
  • Suzanne Scholz, "Convert, Prostitute, Or Traitor? Rahab as the Anti-Matriarch in Contemporary Biblical Interpretations" (page 153)
    • Toward a Feminist Sociology of Interpretation on Joshua 2: Introductory Comments (page 153)
    • Searching for the Historical Origins in Rahabs Story: Source-critical Readers (page 157)
    • Rahabs Faith Matters Most: Christian Conservative Readers (page 161)
      • The Prostitute as a Heroine: Gynocentric-Feminist Readers (page 170)
    • Cooptation and Corruption in Rahabs Conversion: Postcolonial Feminist, Queer, and Ethnic Readers (page 177)
    • Rahab as an Anti-Matriarch, and Where Do We Go from Here:the Contributions of a Feminist Sociology for the Interpretation of Joshua 2 (page 184)
  • Ruthanne Wrobel, "Guilty Pleasures: Hearing Susannas Story Intoned by Leonard Cohen" (page 187)
    • I. Four Grounds (page 189)
    • II. Mind Games (page 190)
    • III. Tests, Trials, Trees, Towers (page 193)
    • IV. Girl Watching (page 196)
    • Selected Bibliography (page 201)
  • Azila Talit Reisenberger, "Mothers of the Nation as Pounds of Flesh" (page 203)
    • Reading Genesis 34 (page 205)
    • The Earliest Interpreter (page 208)
    • Classical Commentaries (page 209)
    • The Rape as a Punishment for Jacob (page 210)
    • The Rape as a Punishment for Leah (page 212)
    • Dinas Culpability in her Own Rape (page 213)
    • The Commentators Worst Fears (page 216)
    • Recent Literary Studies and Commentaries on Genesis 34 (page 217)
    • Conclusion (page 220)
  • Sophia Magallanes, "Thats What She Said: A One-fleshŽ Dynamic in Genesis 12…22" (page 221)
    • 1. Introduction to What is Being Said in Genesis 12…22 (page 221)
    • 2. The One-flesh Dynamic (page 223)
    • 3. The One-flesh Dynamic in Genesis 12…22 (page 223)
      • 3.1 Dynamics of Divine Command and Promise (page 223)
      • 3.2 The New Adam and Eve Are Old (page 224)
      • 3.3 Abra(ha)m and his Wife (page 225)
      • 3.4 Sarai/h Mistreats Hagar (page 226)
      • 3.5 Thats What She SaidŽ in Genesis 18:11…15 (page 227)
    • 4. Conclusion: What Would She SayŽ? (page 228)
  • Mishael M. Caspi, "Daring Women" (page 229)
    • A. Exordium (page 229)
    • B. To Defy the Highest Authority (page 233)
    • C. To Defy Mortal Authority (page 246)
  • J. Harold Ellens, "Judahs Tamar Through a Psychological Lens, the Testimony of the Bible and Quran" (page 257)
  • John Tracy Greene, "Virginity as Sagacity and Wisdom" (page 267)
    • Prolegomena (page 267)
    • The Acts of Paul and Thecla: a Sequel (page 270)
      • A Womans Right to Preach and Baptize (page 270)
      • The Story (Constructed with Borrowed Motifs) (page 271)
      • Summary (page 273)
    • The Protoevangelium of James: a Prequel (page 274)
      • The Story (page 274)
      • Analysis (A) (page 279)
      • Analysis (B) (page 282)
      • Conclusion (page 284)
      • Bibliography (page 286)
  • Yitzhak Peleg, "Why Didnt Ruth the Moabitess Raise her Child? A Son is Born to Naomi (Ruth 4:17)" (page 289)
    • Naming the Book of Ruth (page 289)
    • Ruths Ethnic Status (page 291)
    • Ruth and Boaz (page 295)
    • Leaving Home and Clinging to Others (page 296)
    • Whither Thou Goest (page 298)
    • Ruth and Abraham (page 299)
    • The Foreign Woman (page 300)
    • Expelling and Marrying Foreign Women (page 301)
    • Naomi Moves to Center Stage (page 302)
    • Ruth Retreats (page 304)
    • Raising Ruths Son (page 305)
    • Conclusion (page 307)
  • Anthony Swindell, "Lilith and the Futureof Biblical Humanism" (page 309)
    • Introduction (page 309)
    • Spatiality (page 310)
    • Finnegans Wake (1939) (page 317)
    • Lilith and Feminist Science Fiction: The Ultimate Cosmological Space, Though Not Necessarily Pro-theistic (page 319)
    • The Contrarian Appropriation of the Lilith Story (page 320)
    • The Empty Cipher (page 321)
    • Ann Stevensons Verdict (page 322)
    • Postscript (page 324)
  • Max Stern, "Hannahs Song of Praise as Paradigm for the Canticle of the VirginŽ (Magnificat)" (page 327)
    • Prolegomenon (page 327)
      • Hannahs Song of Praise (page 327)
      • Canticle of the Virgin (page 328)
    • Introduction (page 328)
    • Reception in Synagogue and Church (page 330)
    • Mary, Mother of God (page 332)
      • Place in the Liturgy (page 332)
      • Image of Motherhood (page 334)
    • Anima and Gratitude / Horn and Soul (page 334)
    • Similarities and Comparisons (page 336)
    • Salvation (page 339)
    • The Image of the Horn (page 340)
    • Horn as Shofar (page 341)
      • Sound (page 341)
      • Shape (page 342)
    • From Shofar to Messiah (page 343)
    • Early Christianity (page 344)
    • Conclusion (page 344)
    • A Personal Afterward (page 344)
    • Audio-visual Demonstration (page 345)
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