Dancing Girls, Loose Ladies and Women of the Cloth  -     By: Scott Spencer
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Dancing Girls, Loose Ladies and Women of the Cloth

Continuum International / 2004 / Paperback

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Product Description

The women in Jesus' life are a raucous and rowdy bunch, including "riotous" foremothers, "loose women," and "distressed daughters of Israel." Reading these new ways of interpreting women in the Gospels, male New Testament scholars have discovered liberating perspectives. In seven scintillating studies, Spencer explores among others the genealogy of Matthew's Gospel to discover the riotous yet righteous nature of Jesus' foremothers, slave girls and prophetic daughters in Luke-Acts, and women leading men in the Gospel of Mark 5-7. Spencer provides his own lively forays into reading the Gospels through women's eyes, showing the benefits of reading the stories of biblical women in Jesus' life from this new perspective.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 224
Vendor: Continuum International
Publication Date: 2004
Dimensions: 9 X 6 (inches)
ISBN: 0826416128
ISBN-13: 9780826416124

Publisher's Description

The women in Jesus' life are a raucous and rowdy bunch, including "riotous" foremothers, "loose women," and "distressed daughters of Israel." Reading these new ways of interpreting women in the Gospels, male New Testament scholars have discovered liberating perspectives. In seven scintillating studies, Spencer explores among others the genealogy of Matthew's Gospel to discover the riotous yet righteous nature of Jesus' foremothers, slave girls and prophetic daughters in Luke-Acts, and women leading men in the Gospel of Mark 5-7. Scott Spencer, a virtuoso young New Testament scholar, provides his own lively forays into reading the Gospels through women's eyes. He shows what it is like for a man to read stories about the women in Jesus' life from a new perspective. Spencer is an able and inventive scholar whose broad-ranging insights and engaging style make his work very accessible.

Library Journal

Spencer (What Did Jesus Do?) joins an increasing number of male scripture scholars concerned with feminist aspects. Written in a lively contemporary style, these seven essays address a knowledgeable academic audience and are accompanied by voluminous endnotes (nearly 600). A careful scholar, Spencer bolsters his own interpretations and speculations with a sweeping review of feminist contemporary output, mostly by women, including Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza, Jane Schaberg, and Esther Fuchs, as well as Marc Brettler, David Gunn, and many others. Not all accept feminist critics' reconstructions to counterbalance the Bible writers' predominantly male cultural views, but the book is recommended for religious and academic collections as an intelligent contribution to the ongoing debate.-Anna M. Donnelly, St. John's Univ. Lib., Jamaica, NY Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Publisher's Weekly

Drawing from the biblical stories of Jesus' encounters with women, Spencer takes us into the world of a very human Jesus, showing from the text both the honesty and the complexity of his relationships with the women of his time. Spencer, who teaches New Testament at Baptist Theological Seminary in Virginia, calls his approach "reading with feminist lenses," but this can be deceiving. The approach is rather humanist. Jesus emerges as both a leader and a social being, comfortable with women of every stripe, unafraid of social stigma or censure. Using modern psychological and sociological methods, and exploring the nuances of the Greek text, the author brings the women in the gospels to the forefront by placing them in key positions in the Jesus story. Spencer is at his best exploring the dynamic that he calls "strategies of connection/opposition affecting male/female discourse." Jesus' discussions with, and about, the women in his life reveal a progressiveness beyond what one would expect, given the cultural and historical context of the New Testament. Scholars will appreciate Spencer's thorough research, but general readers will find this book challenging and a bit disturbing. (Oct.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

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