Syllabus is subject to change: if changes are made, they will appear below in red (and the professor will alert you via email).
Readings marked in green
are available in PDF format, and stored on Sakai. If you are not
already logged on to Sakai, you will be prompted to do so when you
click on the link.
All other hypertext links are openly available without logging in.
Please let the professor know ASAP if you have any trouble accessing
readings for the coming week.
For each class two sets of readings are listed: biblical readings
(either entire books or chapters of books); and outside readings
(articles, chapters, or books). All readings should be done before
class, and brought to class to facilitate discussion.
Aug 30: What is the Bible? What is Feminism?
Bible: Exodus 20:1-17 (The Ten Commandments); Ephesians 5:22-6:5
1. Junior, Introduction to Womanist Biblical Interpretation, chs. 1-2
Sept 6: How Have/Can/Should/Might Feminists Read the Bible?
Bible: Exodus 1; Ezekiel 16; Proverbs 8, 31:10-31; Romans 16; Galatians 3:28
1. Junior, Introduction to Womanist Biblical Interpretation, ch. 5
2. Musa Dube, Postcolonial Feminist Interpretation of the Bible (Chalice Press, 2000), 3-43
3. Carol Meyers, "Was Ancient Israel a Patriarchal Society?" Journal of Biblical Literature 133 (2014): 8-27
Sept 13: Eve & Adam (& Lilith)
Bible: Genesis 1-4
1. Carol Meyers, Discovering Eve (Oxford, 1990), 95-121
2. Lilith legend from Alphabet of Ben Sira
3 Judith Plaskow, "The Coming of Lilith" and "Lilith Revisited" from The Coming of Lilith: Essays on Feminism, Judaism, and Sexual Ethics (Beacon Press, 2005)
Sept 20: Abraham & Sarah (& Hagar)
Bible: Genesis 16-22; Exodus 21:1-11; Galatians 4
1. Junior, Introduction to Womanist Biblical Interpretation, ch. 6
2. Renita Weems, "A Mistress, A Maid, and No Mercy (Hagar and Sarah)," in Just a Sister Away (LuraMedia, 1988), 1-24
3. Wilda Gafney, Womanist Midrash: A Reintroduction to the Women of the Torah and the Throne (Westminster/John Knox, 2017), 2-9, 30-45
Sept 27: Queering the Hebrew Bible
Bible: Genesis 37-50; Leviticus 18; Ruth; 1 Samuel 16-20, 2 Samuel 1
1. "Joseph's Fabulous Technicolor Dreamcoat: Parashat Vayeshev (Genesis 37:1-40:23)," from Torah Queeries: Weekly Commentaries on the Hebrew Bible, ed. Gregg Drinkwater et al. (NYU Press, 2009), 53-59
2. Rebecca Alpert, "Finding our Past: A Lesbian Interpretation of the Book of Ruth," in Reading Ruth: Contemporary Women Reclaim a Sacred Story, ed. J. Kates and G. Reimer (Ballantine, 1994), 91-96
3. Lesleigh Cushing Stahlberg, "Modern Day Moabites: The Bible and the Debate about Same-Sex Marriage," Biblical Interpretation 16 (2008): 442-75
Oct 4: Covenant Purity
Bible: Exodus 21-22; Leviticus 12, 15, 18-20; Numbers 5-6, 30; Deuteronomy 22
1. Judith Plaskow, Standing Again at Sinai: Judaism from a Feminist Perspective (HarperOne, 1991), 25-74
2. Jonah Steinberg, "From a 'Pot of Filth' to a 'Hedge of Roses' (and
Back): Changing Theorizations of Menstruation in Judaism," Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion 13.2 (1997): 5-26
Hartman and Naomi Marmon, "Lived Regulations, Systemic Attributions:
Menstrual Separation and Ritual Immersion in the Experience of Orthodox
Jewish Women," Gender & Society 18 (2004): 389-408
Oct 11: Was There a Goddess in Ancient Israel?
Bible: Judges 6; 1 Kings 15, 16:31-34, 18; Proverbs 1, 8, 9; Job 28
1. The Sophia of Jesus Christ
2. Judith Hadley, "From Goddess to Literary Construct: The Transformation of Asherah into Hokmah," in A Feminist Companion to Reading the Bible, ed. A . Brenner, C. Fontaine (Sheffield Press, 1997), 360-99
3. Pheme Perkins, "Sophia as Goddess in the Nag Hammadi Codices," in Images of the Feminine in Gnosticism, revd. ed. Karen King (Continuum, 2000), 96-112
Oct 18: The Red Tent
Bible: Genesis 27-50
Reading: Anita Diamant, The Red Tent
Oct 25 Jesus and Women (& Tolerance)
Bible: Gospel of Mark and additional selections from the gospels
1. Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, In Memory of Her: A Feminist Reconstruction of Christian Origins, chapter 4
2. Judith Plaskow, "Feminist Anti-Judaism and the Christian God," Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion 7.2 (1991): 99-108
Nov 1: Paul and Women (& Gender )
Bible: 1 Corinthians and additional selections from Paul's letters
1. Dale B. Martin, "The Queer History of Galatians 3:28: 'No Male and Female," in Sex and the Single Savior (Westminster/John Knox, 2006), 77-90
2. Margaret Y. MacDonald, "Reading Real Women Through the Undisputed Letters of Paul," in Women and Christian Origins, ed. R.S. Kraemer and M.R. D'Angelo (Oxford University Press, 200), 199-220
3. Beverly Roberts Gaventa, "Our Mother St. Paul: Toward the Recovery of a Neglected Theme," in A Feminist Companion to Paul, ed. Amy-Jill Levine (T.&T. Clark, 2004), 85-97
Nov 8: Apocalypse: Whores, Virgins, Martyrs, and You
Bible: Mark 13; 1 Thessalonians 4; Revelation of John
1. Avaren Ipsen, BibleWorld: Sex Working and the Bible (Routledge, 2014), 166-204
2. Tina Pippin, Death and Desire: The Rhetoric of Gender in the Apocalypse of John (Westminster/John Knox, 1992), 45-68
Nov 15: Women's Authority in/from the New Testament
Bible: Romans 16; 1 Timothy; Ephesians
1. Acts of Thecla
2. Catherine Mumford Booth, "Female Ministry; or, Woman's Right to Preach the Gospel"
3. Jouette Bassler, "Limits and Differentiation: The Calculus of Widows in 1 Timothy 5:3-16," in A Feminist Companion to the Deutero-Pauline Epistles, ed. Amy-Jill Levine (T.&T. Clark, 2003), 122-46
Nov 22: No class (Thanskgiving)
Nov 29: The Handmaid's Tale
1. Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale
2. Alison Joseph, "The Handmaid's Tale as a Legitimate Reading of Genesis?" The Shiloh Project: Rape Culture, Religion, and the Bible (July 9, 2017)
Dec 6: Perspectives & Conclusions (by way of Mary Magdalene)
1. On-line gallery of Mary Magdalene images
2. James Carroll, "Who was Mary Magdalene?" Smithsonian Magazine July 2006 (and read the comments section)
explore the website magdalene.org
The website previously known as magdalene.org shut down last week!
Please instead explore the 2004 version of the site through the Wayback
Machine by clicking on this link.
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