of the most divisive and productive discourses of modernity have been
gender and religion; both social systems have created conditions for
subordination but also the possibilities for liberation. For most of
its history, interpretation of the Bible has provided a nexus for the
exploration of gender and religion. In this course we will ask how,
when, and why feminists have turned to the Jewish and Christian
Scriptures as a resource for the political, cultural, and religious
reconfiguration of gender and sexuality.
This course assumes no prior knowledge of the Bible, biblical religions (Judaism and Christianity), or feminism.
This class will be conducted as a seminar, with maximum participation
from all of you and minimal intervention from me. Because this course
meets only once a week, the weekly reading load may feel a bit heavy. I
encourage you to get an early start on the week's readings (certainly
don't leave the readings for the night before!) and to make use of
Sakai discussion forums to ask questions about the readings.
Because much of the discussion will focus on specific biblical
passages, you should bring their Bibles to class (it will also be
helpful to bring other readings to class as well to facilitate
(20%). This class is a seminar and requires full participation. If you
are unable to participate in class, please make use of the Sakai forums
to post questions, ideas, responses to readings or class discussions. I
encourage everyone to click the "Watch" tab in the Sakai forums to
receive notices when someone posts a new thread.
2. Short Writing Assignments
(10% x 4 = 40%). At the beginning of each class, I will give you a
brief prompt and we will, as a class, take 10 minutes to write notes,
questions, thoughts in response to that prompt. You will then choose
four of those impromptu pieces of writing and develop them into fuller
pieces of writing, analyzing biblical passages from a variety of
Short written assignments must be at least 500 words, but may be in any
format: analytic writing, creative writing, poetry. The only
requirement is a demonstration of thoughtful engagement with a biblical
text from a feminist perspective.
Written assignments may be turned in at any time to the Sakai Drop Box
and (once graded and returned) revised and resubmitted. All final
written assignments are due by the last day of class, uploaded to Sakai
3. Leading Class
(10%). Following the impromptu writing assignment and discussion (and
any instructional business from the professor), class will be guided by
a pair or, depending on the size of the class, a trio of students.
These class leaders must do the following:
a) provide a list of "talking
points" for the class, based on questions and ideas that arise from the
readings (NB: talking points may be posted ahead of time on Sakai, or
distributed in class)
b) guide the class in a close reading of at least one biblical text, in light of the readings we have done for the class
Class leaders may use any of the standard tools of college
pedagogy: hand outs, small group assignments, directed questions, etc.
Class leaders are strongly encouraged to meet with the professor before leading class.
4. Final Paper/Project
(30%). On the day of the final exam (Thursday, December 17, by 5pm),
students will turn in a final project, uploaded to Sakai Dropbox.
Students may choose from among the following options (described in more
detail on the course website), and are encouraged to come speak early
in the semester with the professor to choose one:
a. Exegesis paper
b. Book review
c. History of interpretation
d. Creative project
Students requiring academic accommodations should contact the
appropriate person in their Dean of Students office in order to
formalize accommodations (be ready to discuss appropriate
accommodations and provide necessary documentation). Accommodations may
not be provided for students who have not registered through their Dean
of Students Office.
College contact information for student accommodations:
Scripps College: email@example.com
Claremont McKenna College: firstname.lastname@example.org
Harvey Mudd College: email@example.com
Pitzer College: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pomona College: Jan.Collins-Eaglin@pomona.edu
You may also find additional resources at the 7C Student Disability Resource Center: https://www.cuc.claremont.edu/sdrc/.
Scripps College’s policy on academic honesty:
“Cheating and/or plagiarism seriously violate the principles of
academic integrity that Scripps College expects its students to uphold.
Academic dishonesty is not tolerated at Scripps and may result in
suspension or expulsion from the College. (See the current Guide to
Student Life, pp. 90-93.)”
By the end of this course, students will be able to:
• demonstrate familiarity with multiple feminist frameworks;
• analyze biblical texts from literary, historical, and creative perspectives;
• interrogate the role of the Bible in supporting and subverting gender systems
The following books have been ordered for this class and are/should be
available from the Huntley bookstore (but feel free to acquire them in
whatever way best suits your time and budget):
1. Harold Attridge, ed., HarperCollins Study Bible: Student Edition,
revd. (HarperOne, 2005), which is a reliable, well-annotated, and
inexpensive Bible. Students may use whichever Bible translation they
have at hand, including online Bibles (see the links & resources
2. Nyasha Junior, Introduction to Womanist Biblical Interpretation (Westminster/John Knox, 2015)
3. Anita Diamant, The Red Tent (St Martins, 2005)
4. Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale (Anchor, 1998)
In addition, reading materials are available online through the course
website. Some materials ae openly available, some are stored on Sakai.
Mark your calendars now!
September 11: Last day to add classes
October 19: Last day to drop classes
December 6: Final drafts of short written assignments due (to Sakai Drobox)
December 17: Final exams due by 5pm to Sakai Dropbox (or via email)
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