Whispering the Word  -     By: Jacqueline E. Lapsley
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Whispering the Word

Westminster John Knox Press / 2005 / Paperback

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Product Description

In the past twenty-five years there has been an explosion of work focusing on women in the Old Testament. However, because much of this work has reflected a perspective that is either uninterested in or hostile to theological implications of the text, many Christian feminists wonder if they can simultaneously maintain their commitment to principles of gender equality and their faith in the Scriptures, particularly the Old Testament in response to feminist biblical scholars who approach the Old Testament with a hermeneutic of suspicion. Princeton theologian Jacqueline Lapsley offers Christian feminists strategies to hear the subtle ideas and voices of the less powerful within the Old Testament texts. Reading and interpreting a number of Old Testament narratives in which women are prominent, Lapsley considers how these stories may reflect God's word for us. In doing so, she demonstrates how the narrative often attempts to shape the moral response of the reader by revealing the intricacy and complexity of the moral world evoked. In this gentle shaping of the reader's ethical sensibilities, she argues, is where God may be whispering a word for us.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 176
Vendor: Westminster John Knox Press
Publication Date: 2005
Dimensions: 9 X 6 (inches)
ISBN: 0664224350
ISBN-13: 9780664224356
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

Many Christian feminists wonder if they can simultaneously maintain their commitment to principles of gender equality and their faith in the Scriptures, particularly the Old Testament. Writing in response to feminist biblical scholars who approach the Old Testament with a hermeneutic of suspicion, Jacqueline Lapsley offers Christian feminists strategies to hear the subtle ideas and voices of the less powerful within the Old Testament texts. Reading and interpreting a number of Old Testament narratives in which women are prominent, Lapsley considers how these stories may reflect God's word for us. In doing so, she demonstrates how the narrative often attempts to shape the moral response of the reader by revealing the intricacy and complexity of the moral world evoked. In this gentle shaping of the reader's ethical sensibilities, she argues, is where God may be whispering a word for us.

Author Bio

Jacqueline E. Lapsley is Associate Professor of Old Testament at Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, New Jersey. She is the author ofWhispering the Word: Hearing Women's Stories in the Old Testament. and Can These Bones Live? The Problem of the Moral Self in the Book of Ezekiel.

Publisher's Weekly

Lapsley, who teaches at Princeton Theological Seminary, explores four Old Testament stories that feature women. In her discussion of Rachel's confrontation with Laban, found in the book of Genesis, she shows that Rachel's words for menstruation and "the way of women" can be interpreted as social critique. Lapsley then turns her attention to Judges 19-21, chapters that depict disturbing violence against women, arguing persuasively that the narrator didn't approve of rape and dismemberment, but rather wanted to show that violence toward women leads to widespread violence writ large, and that this domino effect requires a theological response. In the story of Moses' mother and sister saving baby Moses from death, Lapsley finds a portrait of women's values, and in a final discussion of the book of Ruth, Lapsley argues that Naomi is a woman "shaking a fist... at God for the injustices of the world." Lapsley's readings not only draw attention to the words and experiences of biblical heroines, but also model suggestive strategies for interpreting other biblical texts. Although this innovative book will be read mainly by academics, Lapsley's introduction-in which she explains the basics of feminist biblical interpretation-is so lucid that any interested readers will be able to follow along. (Dec.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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