The Word According to Eve: Women and the Bible in Ancient Times and Our Own

Cullen Murphy, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $24 (302p) ISBN 978-0-395-70113-3
Murphy, managing editor of the Atlantic Monthly, takes his cue from Catholic theologian David Tracy's remark that the encounter of feminism with religion would be ""the next intellectual revolution."" In a brilliant survey of the work of women scholars in biblical studies, Murphy provides one of the finest and most comprehensive introductions to the accomplishments of women in the field of biblical studies. Although he devotes a chapter to the work of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the groundbreaking publication of the Woman's Bible in 1895, he reminds us that only within the past 30 years have women been recognized for their contributions to biblical scholarship. Murphy devotes each chapter to a prominent woman scholar who is changing the face of biblical scholarship through work in archeology, textual criticism, translation of newly discovered or little-known texts, biblical theology and studies of the historical Jesus. Among the women scholars he interviews and spotlights are Old Testament scholar Phyllis Trible (Union Seminary), who was instrumental in using rhetorical analysis and feminist theory to provide fresh readings of the creation stories in Genesis; Karen King, professor at Harvard Divinity School, whose translation of The Gospel of Mary has helped to demonstrate the fragmentation of early Christianity concerning women's roles; and Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza, whose book In Memory of Her brings feminist hermeneutics to bear on the life and work of Jesus. Through the lenses of feminist biblical scholarship, women in ancient times, like Mary Magdalene and Deborah, Israel's great judge, take on new life. Murphy's book is a must read for anyone wishing to understand the goals and the results of contemporary feminist biblical criticism. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/03/1998
Release date: 08/01/1998
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-0-618-00192-7
Open Ebook - 336 pages - 978-0-544-74889-7
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