On Reading Prophetic Texts: Gender-Specific and Related Studies in Memory of Fokkelien van Dijk-Hemmes (review)
- Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies
- Purdue University Press
- Volume 17, Number 4, Summer 1999
- pp. 155-156
- Additional Information
Book Reviews 155 On Reading Prophetic Texts: Gender-Specific and Related Studies in Memory of Fokkelien van Dijk-Hemmes, edited by Bob Becking and Meindert Dijkstra. Leiden: E. 1. Brill, 1996. 295 pp. $93.75. This volume of sixteen essays is published in memory of the feminist biblical and theological scholar, Fokkelien van Dijk-Hemmes. The editors of the book chose researchers and topics wisely. The studies for the volume continue the varied intellectual endeavors of the deceased. Among the investigations included in the book are those that approach biblical prophetic texts with the feminist hermeneutics that Fokkelien van Dijk-Hemmes developed. Significant among these is the essay by van der Kooij which deals with the relationship between Judges chapters 4 and 5. Van DijkHemmes herself addressed this issue in her 1992 dissertation. Van der Kooij presents her view and gives further thoughts of his own on her contention that chapter 4 is a M(ale)-text and chapter 5 a F(emale)-text. Other pieces in the book tum to texts dealing with women but examine them with more traditional methodologies. The volume, thus, furthers the scholarly dialogue and debate on feminist interpretation in which Van DijkHemmes was so involved. Essays treating texts dealing with the role of women in the cu1t(s) ofancient Israel also complement the work of the late researcher in her study of ancient theology. In her scholarship, Fokkelien van Dijk-Hemmes sought to wrest biblical interpretation from the straitjacket of male domination. The current volume is a fitting tribute to her memory. Her scholarly legacy is noted in these pages that search for the female texts or voices in the Hebrew Bible and strive to understand women's culture in Ancient Israel more fully than traditional male-centered interpretation does. Feminist textual "gendering" is the aim and theme of several of the studies. Noteworthy is the sophistication of the essays dealing directly and expressly with the pursuit of the female orientation and perspective in the text. This reviewer found the greatest value of the volume in the thought-provoking search for the feminine in all the pieces, and in some the convincing detection of the feminine, as well. An introduction by the editors setting forth van Dijk-Hemmes' scholarly contributions opens the volume, and a Bibliography of Publications by Fokkelien van Dijk-Hemmes immediately precedes the essays in the body of the book. The essays are "Passion, Power, Protection: Interpreting the God of Nahum," by Bob Becking (pp. 1-20); "What a Lioness Was Your Mother: Reflections on Ezekiel 19," by Panc C. Beentjes (pp. 21-36); "Poor Man or Poor Woman: Gendering the Poor in Prophetic Texts," by Phyllis Bird (pp. 37-52); "Women's Traditions Problematized: Some Reflections," by Athalya Brenner (pp. 53-66); "Whorusalamin: A Tale of Three Cities as Three Sisters," by Robert P. Carroll (pp. 67-82); "Goddess, Gods, Men and Women in Ezekiel 8," by Meindert Dijkstra (pp. 83-114); "The Fertility of the Flock? The De-Personalization of Astarte in the Old Testament," by Judith M. Hadley (pp. 156 SHOFAR Summer 1999 Vol. 17, No.4 115-134); "On Male and Female Views in Judges 4 and 5," by Arie van der Kooij (pp. 135-152); "The Female Servant of the Lord in Isaiah 54," by Marjo C. A. Korpel (pp. 153-168); "Gendering the Discourse of Display in the Hebrew Bible," by Heather A. McKay (pp. 169-200); "Ruah und Gender-Frage zum Beispiel der Visionen beim Propheten Ezechiel," by Helen Schungel-Straumann (pp. 201-216); "On Methods of Teaching Biblical Hebrew to Non-Native Speakers: An Approach to Teaching," by Ophira Shapiro (pp. 217-230); "The Widow of Zarephat and the Great Woman of Shunem: A Comparative Analysis of Two Stories," by Jopie Siebert-Hommes (pp. 231-250); "Cakes and Figurines: Related Women's Cultic Offerings in Ancient Israel?" by Karel 1. H. Vriezen (pp. 251-264); "Gendering Hosea 13," by Marie-Theres Wacker (pp. 265-282); "Deborah and Ya'el in Judges 4," by Ellen van Wolde (pp. 283-195). Daniel Grossberg Department of Judaic Studies State University of New York at Albany ...