Cover

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Title Page, Frontispiece, Copyright

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Contents

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pp. v-vi

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1. Introduction: Wisdom Rebuilds Her House

Jacqueline E. Lapsley and Patricia K. Tull

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pp. 1-14

When Carol Newsom and Sharon Ringe first considered creating the edited book now known as the Women’s Bible Commentary, they wondered whether they could find enough women scholars to author short commentaries on each of the Bible’s sixty-six books. By the time they were writing the introduction to their third edition twenty years later...

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2. Jobs and Benefits in Genesis 1 and 2: A Feminist Biblical Theology of Creation

Patricia K. Tull

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pp. 15-30

One day last summer, my spouse Don conducted a funeral for a church member. Loren had been the sixty-year companion and longtime caregiver for his wife Carol, who is both wheelchair bound and blind. The sanctuary filled with stories expressing gratitude for his...

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3. Women’s Doings in Ruth: A Feminist Biblical Theology of Providence

Eunny P. Lee

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pp. 31-44

It may seem odd to speak of divine providence in a book that features a God who largely remains “in the shadows.”1 The book of Ruth says little directly about God; only twice does the narrative report divine activity (1:6; 4:13) and, in the first of those instances, only obliquely. There are no mighty acts of God; there is no glorious deliverance from...

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4. Job and the Hidden Face of God: A Feminist Biblical Theology of Divine Judgment

Carleen Mandolfo

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pp. 45-60

God’s absence and judgment are inextricably linked in many texts of the Hebrew Bible. The overriding impression a reader gets is that God’s absence portends ill for individual or corporate Israel. The Jewish tradition has long commented on this phenomenon, naming it hester panim (“hiding of the face”), debating whether it is an element...

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5. Embodiment in Isaiah 51--52 and Psalm 62: A Feminist Biblical Theology of Salvation

Katie M. Heffelfinger

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pp. 61-76

The claim that we live in a broken world—that in a variety of ways people experience a need for deliverance—lies at the heart of salvation theology. As Glenn Morrison so eloquently says, “The heart—broken, scarred and called by God—journeys along an endless crooked road.”1 While popular culture has often thought of salvation as...

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6. Reading Psalm 146 in the Wild: A Feminist Biblical Theology of Praise

Jacqueline E. Lapsley

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pp. 77-90

The Psalter is a microcosm of our life with God. As a human response to God’s actions in and for the world, the Psalter lays before God expressions of deepest grief and profoundest joy, registering sorrow, anger, bitterness, recrimination, and bafflement but also wonder, awe, gratitude, and, ultimately and definitively, praise. Its arc moves, somewhat like Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, from a predominantly mournful...

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7. Woman Wisdom and Her Friends: A Feminist Biblical Theology of Justice

Anne W. Stewart

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pp. 91-108

What is justice? Its very definition is fraught with conflict—justice for whom and by what standards? At stake in this conversation are the values by which justice is measured. As Michael J. Sandel asserts, “Justice is inescapably judgmental. . . . Justice is not only about the right way to distribute things. It is also about the right way to value things.”1 The...

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8. When Esther and Jezebel Write: A Feminist Biblical Theology of Authority

Cameron B. R. Howard

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pp. 109-122

As a child growing up in the Presbyterian church, I learned that the answer to the question “Who wrote the Bible?” is “Holy men, who were taught by the Holy Ghost.”1 That answer echoes two assumptions many readers bring to their study of the Hebrew Bible. For readers from numerous faith traditions, including my own, the Bible is..

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9. Miriam, Moses, and Aaron in Numbers 12 and 20: A Feminist Biblical Theology Concerning Exclusion

Suzanne Boorer

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pp. 123-140

Numbers 12 and 20:1-12 both concern the three leaders of the wilderness generation—Miriam, Moses, and Aaron. At the heart of both lie stories, variously nuanced, involving insider/outsider motifs. Most obviously, in Num 12 Miriam becomes a temporary outsider both physically and socially, whereas Moses, as the speaker of God’s word,...

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10. Be Kind to Strangers, but Kill the Canaanites: A Feminist Biblical Theology of the Other

Julie Galambush

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pp. 141-154

Deuteronomy 20:16-17 is one of several biblical texts in which the Israelites are commanded by God to exterminate the native residents of Canaan: “But as for the towns of these peoples that the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, you must not let anything that breathes remain alive. You shall annihilate them.” Elsewhere, and...

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11. Rahab and Esther in Distress: A Feminist Biblical Theology of Moral Agency

Sarah J. Melcher

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pp. 155-170

The Canaanite prostitute Rahab and the Israelite Persian queen Esther both confront morally ambiguous choices posed by violent threats to their own lives and those of their families. When faced with the certain victory of the Hebrews over the Canaanites at Jericho, Rahab must decide between safety for her family and loyalty to her Canaanite community. Esther, on the other hand, must choose between survival...

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12. The Traumatized “I” in Psalm 102: A Feminist Biblical Theology of Suffering

Amy C. Cottrill

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pp. 171-186

Encounters with violence live on in bodies long after visible wounds have healed. As a nation at war, the United States is currently confronting the return of soldiers who experience posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), displaying symptoms such as depression, hyperarousal, panic, suicidal tendencies, and violent outbursts. General...

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13. “Missing Women” in Judges 19--21: A Feminist Biblical Theology Concerning Violence against Women

Jo Ann Hackett

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pp. 187-200

What are women worth? In what ways does violence in a patriarchal society touch the lives of women? In what kinds of societies is it so important to have a son that the mother’s life is threatened by the number of pregnancies or abortions she is expected to undergo until a son is born? And what kind of message does female infanticide and abortion...

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14. Zechariah’s Gendered Visions: A Feminist Biblical Theology of Reconciliation

Ingrid E. Lilly

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pp. 201-216

The twentieth century is infamously hailed as the century of global-scale war. The Holocaust, genocide, strife within nations, and modern warfare pose pressing questions about the nature of conflict and how communities recover and heal. In the crucible of modern conflict, numerous thinkers devoted to peacebuilding, secular and religious alike, turn to concepts of reconciliation. Many theological insights into...

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15. Path and Possession in Proverbs 1--9: A Feminist Biblical Theology of Flourishing

Christine Roy Yoder

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pp. 217-228

What is the good life? How does one achieve it? How does a person navigate life well? What habits, activities, traits, and relationships promote human well-being? Within the Hebrew Bible, the book of Proverbs wrestles overtly with these age-old questions, pondering what aspects of life are vital to individual and communal welfare. Proverbs is a collection of collections, a composite of two-line proverbs and longer...

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16. Counterimagination in Isaiah 65 and Daniel 12: A Feminist Biblical Theology of Hope

Amy C. Merrill Willis

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pp. 229-246

What is hope? This is a basic question to be sure, but one that is surprisingly elusive. The poet Emily Dickinson famously called hope “the thing with feathers.” 1 In her poetic imagination, hope provides spiritual and individual comfort: it can keep one warm in chill air and accompany one in difficult places. Hope is the bird that delights us with limitless sweetness and demands not a crumb even in its own extremity. Unlike...

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Biography of Carol A. Newsom

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pp. 247-248

Carol A. Newsom was born July 4, 1950, in Birmingham, Alabama, to parents Donald L. and Imogene P. Newsom. She graduated summa cum laude from Birmingham–Southern College in 1971 and received her M.T.S. (1975) from Harvard Divinity School and her Ph.D. with distinction (1982) from Harvard University. She has been teaching...

Selected Bibliography of Carol A. Newsom’s Writings

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pp. 249-256

Notes

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pp. 257-288

List of Contributors

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pp. 289-290

Scripture Index

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pp. 291-301

Subject/Author Index

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pp. 302-306