Abstract

In this essay, Esther Fuchs analyzes and critiques the resurgence in the past decade of neoliberal feminist recuperations of the Hebrew Bible. This approach is essentialist, ignores the mediation of patriarchal ideology, tends to reauthorize the "fathers" of the field, and is generally dismissive of feminist critique. Fuchs traces the roots of this approach to Elizabeth Cady Stanton's The Woman's Bible, which was largely grounded in the humanist, liberal ideals of European modernism that were closely allied to the rise of capitalism in the nineteenth century. Neoliberalism defines feminism in terms of equality, independence, rationalism, individualism, competitiveness, and power over others—liberal ideals that are often projected on biblical women in an attempt to recuperate and reappropriate them as feminist models. The quest for women's voices, types, and powerful historical personalities often ignores poststructuralist theories of representation, discourse, and ideology. The essay then politicizes and interrogates a broadly accepted reading procedure that can be seen as dominant in contemporary feminist biblical studies.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1553-3913
Print ISSN
8755-4178
Pages
pp. 45-65
Launched on MUSE
2008-10-25
Open Access
No
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