An examination of the important myriad roles played by women in the gospel of Luke, and the manner in which critical scholarship has dealt with them.
Engaging feminist hermeneutics and philosophy in addition to more traditional methods of biblical study, Salty Wives, Spirited Mothers, and Savvy Widows demonstrates and celebrates the remarkable capability and ingenuity of several women in the Gospel of Luke. While recent studies have exposed women's limited opportunities for ministry in Luke, Scott Spencer pulls the pendulum back from a negative feminist-critical pole toward a more constructive center.
Granting that Luke sends somewhat "mixed messages" about women's work and status as Jesus' disciples, Spencer analyzes such women as Mary, Elizabeth, Joanna, Martha and Mary, and the infamous yet intriguing wife of Lot--whom Jesus exhorts his followers to "remember"--as well as the unrelentingly persistent women characters in Jesus' parables.
Scott Spencer is one of the most engaging, uncannily perceptive biblical interpreters I know! In this insightful volume he enters the fray of feminist debate over Luke's decidedly 'mixed messages' regarding women, masterfully negotiating the tension between liberating and limiting elements of Luke's presentation...He shows Luke's women to be remarkably capable--even if not as liberated as we might hope! Without whitewashing the difficulties, Spencer thereby reclaims Luke's narrative for liberating, life-enhancing ends.
-Frances Taylor Gench
Union Presbyterian Seminary
Is Luke's Gospel the most dangerous book in the Bible for women and men? Is it a mixed bag? Is it to be read against the grain in order to find good news? In this thoughtful, insightful, and engaging study, Scott Spencer investigates the women who inhabit Luke's narrative. Recognizing mixed messages and avoiding anachronism, Spencer offers a nuanced presentation of capable women of purpose and persistence.
Brite Divinity School
Spencer's study of women in the Gospel of Luke is spirited enough to engage students and savvy enough to cause scholars to rethink, once again, the representation of gender in the Third Gospel.
Le Moyne College
Insightfully challenges and complements feminist scholarship on a Gospel that is notoriously equivocal for women...A welcome contribution to feminist discourse on the Gospel of Luke.
-Mary Ann Beavis
University of Saskatchewan
For more than two decades, Scott Spencer has engaged with feminist interpretation of the New Testament. With this provocative, stimulating, and lively treatment of women in the Lukan writings, Spencer offers mature but--in the best sense--entirely unpredictable readings resulting in fresh, at times stunning, analyses of these old, old stories...A must-read for anyone--male or female--interested in gender issues, then and now.
-Mikeal C. Parsons
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