What She Wrote...
Beyond Feminist Biblical Studies
by Elizabeth Ursic, State University of New York Press, 2014, $80.00
Many Christians do not know the Bible contains female images of God because they have never heard nor seen them in church. In Women, Ritual, and Power, Elizabeth Ursic gives the reader insight into four Christian communities that worship God with female imagery, both as a worship focus and a community identity. These Methodist, Presbyterian, Lutheran, and Catholic congregations operate within their established church denominations and are led by either ordained Protestant ministers or vowed Catholic sisters. Because expressing God-as-She can expose strident claims for maintaining God-as-He, this book shows not only how patriarchy continues to operate in churches today, but also how it is being successfully challenged through liturgy.
“Women, Ritual, and Power is an important contribution to the theological world. Elizabeth Ursic sheds light on what has enabled churches to include female images for the divine and provides multiple narratives of the negative reactions to such images. As she displays how gender is understood in Christian worship with evidence that some churches do include feminist imagery, the continuing presence of patriarchy is also revealed. The book is basically about the constructive function of the inclusion of feminine images for all. One of the main reasons we need this book is that Ursic perceives there is a much wider/larger group of Christians who would love to have more feminist images than is recognized in churches and church practices.” — Mary McClintock Fulkerson, author of Changing the Subject: Women’s Discourses and Feminist Theology
Beyond Feminist Biblical Studies
by Theresa Yugar, Wipf and Stock, 2014, $19.00
In Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz: Feminist Reconstruction of Biography and Text, Yugar invites you to accompany Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, a seventeenth-century protofeminist and ecofeminist, on her lifelong journey within three communities of women in the Americas. Sor Juana's goal was to reconcile inequalities between men and women in central Mexico and between the Spaniards and the indigenous Nahua population of New Spain. Yugar reconstructs a her-story narrative through analysis of two primary texts Sor Juana wrote en sus propias palabras (in her own words), El Sueno (The Dream) and La Respuesta (The Answer). Yugar creates a historically-based narrative in which Sor Juana's sueno of a more just world becomes a living nightmare haunted by misogyny in the form of the church, the Spanish Tribunal, Jesuits, and more--all seeking her destruction. In the process, Sor Juana "hoists [them] with their own petard." In seventeenth-century colonial Mexico, just as her Latina sisters in the Americas are doing today, Sor Juana used her pluma (pen) to create counternarratives in which the wisdom of women and the Nahua inform her sueno of a more just world for all.
Beyond Feminist Biblical Studies
by Deryn Guest, Sheffield Phoenix Press Ltd, 2012, $63.00
Description: In today’s postfeminist, post-structuralist milieu, feminist biblical studies—despite its now well-established place in the discipline—can seem out on a limb, too narrowly concerned with the interests of women: women in the text, women in history, women readers. Its connections with studies in masculinities, with queer theories, with lesbian and gay studies may appear thin and flimsy. As the current terminology shifts perceptibly to ‘gender criticism’, this book examines the continued place of feminist biblical studies within the discipline. Is it now the time, Deryn Guest asks, for feminist biblical scholars to resist more strongly than ever the threats of a diluted feminist agenda and feminist politics, the erasure of women’s concerns from public consciousness, the loss of autonomy for feminist space? Or is it the time to make a definite shift and abandon the language of ‘feminism’? Readers of this scintillating volume will find themselves invited into a sophisticated discussion of the question as they consider how far feminist biblical scholarship should be more inclusive of the newer critical voices emerging from trans- and intersex studies, testing the extent to which it can examine the construction of heterosexuality and make the apparatus of biblically prescribed heteronormativity an object of critical study. The book closes with the intriguing possibilities available for ‘queer straight’ practitioners of biblical studies with an armoury of genderqueer strategies in their hermeneutical toolbox.
The Faith Lives of Women and Girls
Nicola Slee, Fran Porter, & Anne Phillips (Eds), Ashgate, 2013, £58.50
Feminist Empirical Theology Identifying, illuminating and enhancing understanding of key aspects of women and girls' faith lives, The Faith Lives of Women and Girls represents a significant body of original qualitative research from practitioners and researchers across the UK. Contributors include new and upcoming researchers as well as more established feminist practical theologians. Chapters provide perspectives on different ages and stages of faith across the life cycle, from a range of different cultural and religious contexts.Diverse spiritual practices, beliefs and attachments are explored, including a variety of experiences of liminality in women’s faith lives. A range of approaches - ethnographic, oral history, action research, interview studies, case studies and documentary analysis - combine to offer a deeper understanding of women’s and girls' faith lives. As well as being of interest to researchers, this book presents resources to enhance ministry to and with women and girls in a variety of settings
Was Ancient Israel a Patriarchal Society?
Carol L. Meyers (Journal of Biblical Literature) Volume 133, No. 1, 2014 p.8-27
Abstract: The term "patriarchy" denotes the social-science concept of male dominance. This concept was formulated by nineteenth-century anthropologists using classical literature, especially legal texts, in their attempts to understand the history of the family. Biblical scholars interested in Israelite family structures soon took up the term. By the early twentieth century, sociologists (notably Weber) extended the concept of patriarchy to include society-wide male domination. This too entered scholarship on the Hebrew Bible and ancient Israel. However, the validity and appropriateness of this concept to designate both families and society have recently been challenged in several disciplines: in classical scholarship, by using sources other than legal texts; in research on the Hebrew Bible and ancient Israel, also by using multiple sources; and in the work of third-wave feminists, both social theorists and feminist archaeologists. Taken together, these challenges provide compelling reasons for abandoning the patriarchy model as an adequate or accurate descriptor of ancient Israel.