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Book Reviews 131 so prevalent of that period. Now that neurophysiologic explanations of mental disorders are back in vogue, psychoanalysis has become less preeminent and is on the wane as a significant treatment tool. Nonetheless , its ideas and terminology have been taken over by Western culture to a degree where their beginnings have become obscured. It is to the credit of authors such as Diller for drawing our attention to the enigma of creativity in terms of both individual development and cultural determinism . Freud'sJewish Identity is an insightful work which is well referenced. The writing is somewhat marred by spelling and typographical errors but is quite readable in all other respects. Both mental health professionals and lay readership, as well as students ofJewish identity issues, may find this volume enlightening. Werner I. Halpern, M.D. Rochester, New York But She Said, by Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza. Boston: Beacon Press, 1992. 261 pp. $24.00. Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza's recent book, But She Said, is both an extension of her earlier work and an attempt to develop feminist biblical interpretation in new directions. In In Memory ofHer (Crossroads, 1983), Schussler Fiorenza attended to the feminist reconstruction of Christian origins, arguing for the centrality of women within Christianity, and in Bread Not Stone (Beacon Press, 1984) she sought to locate feminist biblical interpretation in relation to the discipline of biblical studies, arguing for the importance of feminist interpretative practices for the field. In this work, the conversation has shifted somewhat, though many of the concerns and goals remain the same. Here Schussler Fiorenza seeks to explore and locate feminist biblical interpretation in relation to various forms of feminist theory and by so doing cultivate a feminist practice of reading biblical texts that contributes self-consciously to women's struggles for emancipation and to the creation of a theoretical space in which such critical reading can take place. Schussler Fiorenza carries out her task by engaging in wide-ranging and detailed conversations with feminist theories within both biblical studies and wider feminist debates. She turns first to an analysis offeminist interpretive approaches currently found in biblical studies or in theology. Eschewing simplistic divisions of reformist vs. radical or biblical vs. 132 SHOFAR Spring 1994 Vol. 12, No.3 postbiblical feminism, Schussler Fiorenza offers an extensive taxonomy of nine approaches ranging from what she terms revisionist perspectives to those focusing on sociopolitical and ideological analysis. The author finds these approaches both helpful and lacking as she seeks to define both a space and a strategy for a feminist critical reading of texts and history. Her analysis builds towards her own constructive proposal for "a rhetorical model of a critical feminist interpretive process for transformation." This rhetorical model takes shape as Schussler Fiorenza further explores feminist theory not only in the study of religion but also in literary, political, and social theory. This rhetorical approach rejects both positivist claims to objectivity and neutrality, and postmodern claims to the impossibility of distinguishing better from worse interpretations. Instead, Schussler Fiorenza argues for an understanding of interpretation that is fully cognizant of the concrete and power-infused location of both reader and text and that recognizes that all readings of texts and history are carried out for particular purposes and interests. Hence what she terms the theoretical and political space from within which interpretation takes place becomes crucial in this rhetorical approach. The space Schussler Fiorenza posits from within which a feminist reading of the Bible might take place is the ekklesia of women. Defined as a radically democratic assembly of equals seeking to discern transformative readings of the past and life-giving directions for the future, this theoretical and real site is the locale within which women critically analyze patriarchy, not just as a dualistic gender system but as a complex structure of domination given expression in the profound interplay of gender, race, class, and cultural stratification. Such critical analysis includes, Schussler Fiorenza insists, the acknowledgement of differences among women, not the least of which is the disparate locations of women within the patriarchal system. Thus the ekklesia of women is a site characterized by plurality, not uniformity, critical self-consciousness, and an open commitment to emancipatory...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-5165
Print ISSN
0882-8539
Pages
pp. 131-133
Launched on MUSE
2012-10-03
Open Access
No
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