Joy A. Schroeder offers the first in-depth exploration of the biblical story of Deborah, an authoritative judge, prophet, and war leader. For centuries, Deborah's story has challenged readers' traditional assumptions about the place of women in society.
Schroeder shows how Deborah's story has fueled gender debates throughout history. An examination of the prophetess's journey through nearly two thousand years of Jewish and Christian interpretation reveals how the biblical account of Deborah was deployed against women, for women, and by women who aspired to leadership roles in religious communities and society. Numerous women-and men who supported women's aspirations to leadership-used Deborah's narrative to justify female claims to political and religious authority. Opponents to women's public leadership endeavored to define Deborah's role as "private" or argued that she was a divinely authorized exception, not to be emulated by future generations of women.
Deborah's Daughters provides crucial new insight into the history of women in Judaism and Christianity, and into women's past and present roles in the church, synagogue, and society.
Joy A. Schroeder is a Lutheran pastor and Professor of Church History at Trinity Lutheran Seminary and Capital University, where she holds the Bergener Chair in Theology and Religion.
"Remarkably comprehensive Deborah's Daughters
is a wonderful resource for readers interested in the history of biblical interpretation and the roles of women in Christianity and Judaism."--Journal of Religion
"Fascinating and erudite I truly enjoyed this book and can recommend it highly."--Review of Biblical Literature
"A masterpiece-a model of how history of interpretation should be done. Deborah's Daughters
is wonderful book that makes available the forgotten history of the interpretation of one of the most important female figures in Scripture accessible for the first time. Schroeder's carefully researched, well-written work is suited to a wide audience of scholars and students and promises to be a great resource for college and seminary courses." --Marion Taylor, Professor of Old Testament, University of Toronto
"Schroeder's study of Deborah's reception in the history of the Bible's interpretation is everything a reader-and a historian-could hope for. Her judicious survey of the full spectrum of polarized views, ancient and modern, admirably resists privileging one by demeaning the others. The book is thus readable, learned, and astonishingly thorough, but students and scholars will especially value its fairness, which ought to be a historian's prime directive." --John L. Thompson, author of Reading the Bible with the Dead: What You Can Learn from the History of Exegesis That You Can't Learn from Exegesis Alone
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