The Book of Esther tells a story in which women’s power is not so much repressed as asserted. The king who banishes one queen finds himself submitting to the will of another. Numerous women writers of various ethnic, religious, and racial backgrounds in the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries have found inspiration in the stories of both Esther and Vashti’s disobedience to an autocratic king.
Why are so few women mentioned in the great feast days like Pentecost, the Last Supper, the Baptism of Christ, etc.? God made no commandment that they not be included. Inquisitive women like myself have always been around Christ listening… Read More ›
I am so frustrated that we are still fighting to affirm women’s place in leadership. I’ve been thinking about this struggle in the context of church ministries (especially preaching) and social activism, seeing a stark contrast between the way institutional… Read More ›
It is quite common, I think, for Jewish feminists to gravitate to the first creation story of Genesis/Bereshit as an example of human equality but struggle to claim this same passage as an example of the goodness of embodiment. Genesis/Bereshit… Read More ›
LGBTQ+ people in biblical religions often turn to the story of Jonathan’s love for David as an example of biblical affirmation of same-sex love. The biblical narrative in 1 and 2 Samuel stresses Jonathan’s love for David from the moment… Read More ›
I will never forget the day Nasr Abu Zaid (1943-2010), an Islamic Studies scholar and teacher extraordinaire, told me, “Shariah is not a law.” In spite of his assertion, many people—both Muslims and non-Muslims—are convinced that Shariah is synonymous with… Read More ›
Last week, I listened to an episode of Krista Tippett’s series On Being that featured an interview with poet Marilyn Nelson. I am not very knowledgeable about the world of modern poetry, but I am familiar with Nelson’s work. A… Read More ›
There are quite a few post-apocalyptic shows out these days. The Last Man on Earth is one example, a television series that is set in 2020, a year after a deadly virus has wiped (almost) everyone out. A handful of… Read More ›
There is some very helpful guidance in the Qur’an for how we should and should not treat the earth. In my exploration of Qur’anic verses on the environment, I have found a great deal of Earth-love that I want to… Read More ›
Earlier this week, social media was all abuzz about the Pope’s investigation into restoring women to the diaconate. In the complete transcript of the Pope’s comments, the traditional notion of women’s maternal role in the church is mentioned in relation… Read More ›
On Saturday, September 19, 2015 I married two of my best friends Andrea and Cindy in holy matrimony in Appleton, WI.
Kim Davis does need a lot of things but saying of suggesting that she needs a haircut, a makeover, or even to lose weight, makes you and those that continue to repeat it no better than she is; to state such statements doesn’t purport the ideal that #LoveWins, which took over social media just mere months ago, but changes the whole narrative to symbolize that sexism and hate are more important than love and equality.
One of things that has dismayed me since I began graduate school and started focusing my study on the Bible, is how much sensationalism exists. We are told in the academy not to use Wikipedia or watch the History Channel…. Read More ›
In my home, in my journals and notebooks, and in my office, I display proverbs and quotes of all kinds around me to inspire me to live meaningfully. Proverbs and fables from around the world are stacked on my bookshelves… Read More ›
‘Tis the season to be…? For me, this has not been a season to be jolly. I teach at a university, and again, I’m in the midst of the most hectic time of year of grading and exams and wrapping… Read More ›
In the past few weeks, there have been renewed debates throughout the US about death with dignity laws and the role of government is providing or securing access to health care. The tragic story of Brittany Maynard and the incessant… Read More ›
When I think about having returned to the Judaism of my family, I often think about a short phrase that is on almost all of the conversion documents I’ve seen. “Your people shall be my people and your G-d shall… Read More ›
There’s a lot of hullabaloo these days about belief in God, atheism, separation of religion and state. However, like it or not, Western civilization is a Christian one. Ever since the Roman Empire officially became Christian in the 4th century… Read More ›
Since my last contribution to Feminism and Religion my interest in Sappho and her influence has led me to a detailed analysis of Luke 1:27-45 (hereafter, the “Conception Story”). I want to share two observations from that analysis that I… Read More ›
It may come as a surprise to those who identify as both feminists and religious practitioners that I don’t believe women should be pastors of any dominant religious congregation. This includes most religions which, I assert, are rooted in and… Read More ›
Growing up, there was a way in which I always felt excluded from holy things. There was the holy: blessed water, sacred oil, priestly blessings, consecrated priests, pilgrimage sites, religious buildings and communion to name a few and then there… Read More ›
One of the loudest refrains I perceive in the Bible is the message that good spirituality means giving everything away. It is a radical concept that begins in an obvious way with material things, especially those that we have in… Read More ›
Jesus loved sinners and Jesus would rather be dancing with me in West Hollywood on a Friday night than lugging through a swamp luring ducks into a trap with a duck caller made by a clan who think that my sexual actions are similar to that of an individual having sex with an animal.
The story in the Gospel of John of the encounter Jesus has with a Samaritan woman (hereafter, ‘the Samaritan’) at Jacob’s well (4:7-29) has attracted considerable scholarly attention. For an overview of some of the interpretive issues raised by it… Read More ›
Rescuing Martha – A Hermeneutic of Retrieval This is the last part of a three part post. Read Part I here and Part II here. Discovering another tradition means being open not only to artistic witnesses but to myth, legend,… Read More ›
What do the Gospels of Luke and John tell us? This is the second part of a three part post. Part I is here and Part III is to follow tomorrow. I now return to the story of Mary and… Read More ›
Introduction and Martha – Patron Saint of Housewives Here I explore a troubling issue for feminist biblical interpretation, namely the interpretations of Luke 10, 38-42, with specific reference to the figure of Martha, and the questions that arise when we… Read More ›