Holy Mary, mother of women’s studies?

A feminist theologian makes Bible study safe for politically empowered women.

Topics: Broadsheet, The Bible, Love and Sex,

For those of you looking to leech the patriarchy out of your Bible studies, Broadsheet presents Phyllis Trible, a feminist theologian profiled this weekend in the Winston-Salem Journal. The author of four books on the feminist interpretation of the Good Book, Trible tells the paper, “So many women have an interest in or commitment to the Bible, but they struggle with it.” Trible began her quest because, according to the Journal, “people told her that the Bible and feminism were enemies  Many of the women in the Bible are almost silent, or they are abused, raped or otherwise mistreated.”

But Trible has sought out the exceptions, or at least the reinterpretations, starting with Eve, who she argues is an active participant in the story of the downfall of Eden. (Hmm, yeah, definitely active. But not so much in a good way.) Trible points out that at least Eve was the perceptive partner when it came to her observations about that tempting apple tree. Adam “just eats  He doesn’t speak out,” Trible says.

You Might Also Like

Trible has also found layers in the Book of Ruth’s tale of the widowed Ruth’s fealty to mother-in-law Naomi (“Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay”), which has been used as a model in some Korean churches for how a young bride marries both a husband and a mother-in-law. Trible’s take is that because Ruth made her decision to accompany Naomi of her own will, and later was married to Boaz, it’s not a valid example of a woman’s duty to bind herself to her mother-in-law for the rest of her life.

For believers discomfited by some of the Bible’s troubling depictions of women, Trible’s work has been valuable. She told the Journal that she is often thanked by women who, after reading her scholarship, feel that “they are not bound by traditional interpretations of the Bible that would put women in subordinate positions.”

Rebecca Traister
Rebecca Traister writes for Salon. She is the author of "Big Girls Don't Cry: The Election that Changed Everything for American Women" (Free Press). Follow @rtraister on Twitter.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 8
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Sonic

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Sonic's Bacon Double Cheddar Croissant Dog

    Sonic calls this a "gourmet twist" on a classic. I am not so, so fancy, but I know that sprinkling bacon and cheddar cheese onto a tube of pork is not gourmet, even if you have made a bun out of something that is theoretically French.

    Krispy Kreme

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Krispy Kreme's Doughnut Dog

    This stupid thing is a hotdog in a glazed doughnut bun, topped with bacon and raspberry jelly. It is only available at Delaware's Frawley Stadium, thank god.

    KFC

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    KFC's Double Down Dog

    This creation is notable for its fried chicken bun and ability to hastily kill your dreams.

    Pizza Hut

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Pizza Hut's Hot Dog Bites Pizza

    Pizza Hut basically just glued pigs-in-blankets to the crust of its normal pizza. This actually sounds good, and I blame America for brainwashing me into feeling that.

    Carl's Jr.

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Carl's Jr. Most American Thick Burger

    This is a burger stuffed with potato chips and hot dogs. Choose a meat, America! How hard is it to just choose a meat?!

    Tokyo Dog

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Tokyo Dog's Juuni Ban

    A food truck in Seattle called Tokyo Dog created this thing, which is notable for its distinction as the Guinness Book of World Records' most expensive hot dog at $169. It is a smoked cheese bratwurst, covered in butter Teriyaki grilled onions, Maitake mushrooms, Wagyu beef, foie gras, black truffles, caviar and Japanese mayo in a brioche bun. Just calm down, Tokyo Dog. Calm down.

    Interscope

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Limp Bizkit's "Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water"

    This album art should be illegal.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>