Jane Schaberg discusses whether Bible scholarship can have a feminist bias
Acknowledging that bias can have very negative connotations, however, Schaberg responds to the presence of that kind of biased feminist Bible interpretation—against the Bible—with a “yes” and a “no.” Feminist Bible scholarship does not aim at complete objectivity, which she calls “an impossible ideal.” Instead, it “aims for fairness in assessing the texts.” Much of feminist Bible scholarship is meant to turn the old, male-dominated understanding of the Bible on its head, to reveal new insights and find new meanings about the often-marginalized wo/men in antiquity and in modern society.
While some feminists consider the Bible and its associated religions too outdated, chauvinistic and oppressive to be redeemed, many others (including Schaberg) find the Bible to be a source of valuable and sometimes surprising information about the role and experience of women, both prominent Biblical figures such as Deborah, Esther, Mary and Mary Magdalene, as well as the unnamed women in the Hebrew Bible and New Testament. Feminist Bible scholarship, she adds, can also include topics such as slavery, gender equality, sexuality, metaphors for God and politics.
Read more about Jane Schaberg’s take on feminist Bible interpretation in “Are Feminists Biased About the Bible?” Biblical Archaeology Review, November/December 2011.
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