Recent books related to Sex, Gender and the Bible added to Library, 2022- 23
Constructive Theology and Gender Variance: transformative creatures by Susannah CornwallSome Christians are anxious and uncomfortable about gender diversity and transition. Sometimes, they understand these issues as a rejection of God's intention for creation. Gender diversity has also been assumed to entail self-deception, mental ill-health, and dysphoria. Yet, humans are inherently transformative creatures with a vocation to shape their own worlds and traditions. Transformative creaturely theology recognizes the capacity of gender to shape humans even as we also question it. In this book, Susannah Cornwall reframes the issues of gender diversity and transition in constructive Christian theological terms. Resisting deficit-based discourses, she presents gender diversity in a way that is positive and non-oppositional. Her volume explores questions of the licit limits of technological interventions for human bodies, how gender diversity maps onto understandings of health, and the ethics of disclosure of gender diversity. It also brings these topics into critical conversation with constructive Christian theologies of creation, theological anthropology, Christology, and eschatology.
Call Number: BR115.T76 C676
Publication Date: 2023
The Theology of Mercy Amba Oduyoye : ecumenism, feminism, and communal practice by Oluwatomisin Olayinka OredeinThis illuminating study explores African theologian Mercy Amba Oduyoye's constructive initiative to include African women's experiences and voices within Christian theological discourse. Mercy Amba Oduyoye, a renowned Ghanaian Methodist theologian, has worked for decades to address issues of poverty, women's rights, and global unrest. She is one of the founders of the Circle of Concerned African Women Theologians, a pan-African ecumenical organization that mentors the next generation of African women theologians to counter the dearth of academic theological literature written by African women. This book offers an in-depth analysis of Oduyoye's life and work, providing a much-needed corrective to Eurocentric, colonial, and patriarchal theologies by centering the experiences of African women as a starting point from which theological reflection might begin. Oluwatomisin Olayinka Oredein's study begins by narrating the story of Mercy Oduyoye's life, focusing on her early years, which led to her eventual interest in women's equality and African women's theology. At the heart of the book is a close analysis of Oduyoye's theological thought, exploring her unique approach to four issues: the doctrine of God, Christology, theological anthropology, and ecclesiology. Through the course of these examinations, Oredein shows how Oduyoye's life story and theological output are intimately intertwined. Stories of gender formation, racial ideas, and cultural foundations teem throughout Oduyoye's construction of a Christian theological story. Oduyoye shows that one's theology does not leave particularity behind but rather becomes the locus in which the fullness of divinity might be known.
Publication Date: 2023-05-15
Tell Her Story: how women led, taught, and ministered in the early church by Nijay K. Gupta; Beth Allison Barr (Foreword by)Women were there. For centuries, discussions of early Christianity have focused on male leaders in the church. But there is ample evidence right in the New Testament that women were actively involved in ministry, at the frontier of the gospel mission, and as respected leaders. Nijay Gupta calls us to bring these women out of the shadows by shining light on their many inspiring contributions to the planting, growth, and health of the first Christian churches. He sets the context by exploring the lives of first-century women and addressing common misconceptions, then focuses on the women leaders of the early churches as revealed in Paul's writings. We discover the major roles of people such as: Phoebe, Paul's trusted coworker Prisca, strategic leader and expert teacher Junia, courageous apostle Nympha, representative of countless lesser-known figures When we understand the world in which Jesus and his followers lived and what the New Testament actually attests about women in the churches, it becomes clear that women were active participants and trusted leaders all along. They were welcomed by Paul and other apostles, were equipped and trained for ministry leadership, instructed others, traveled long distances, were imprisoned--and once in a while became heroes and giants. The New Testament writers tell their stories. It's time for the church to retell them, again and again.
Call Number: BS2445 .G86
Publication Date: 2023-03-14
Paul, Women, and the Meaning of Silence : a contextual reading of 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 by Alex S. CarrThe definition of silence is essential to the interpretation of 1 Corinthians 14:34-35. What did Paul mean when he silenced women in church? In Paul, Women, and the Meaning of Silence, author Alex S. Carr compares the Greek verb Paul used for silence with other ancient Greek sources containing the same term. Through this comparison, he demonstrates consistency within 1 Corinthians and the other Pauline letters. Through comparison with other passages in the New Testament, Carr also demonstrates that these passages do not contradict the type of silence in 1 Corinthians 14. Paul, Women, and the Meaning of Silence further considers cultural and historical contextual issues, including women's education and speech in the Greco-Roman world. This book will assist Bible scholars, pastors, and theological students in navigating some of key interpretive issues in 1 Corinthians. Scholars seeking to locate primary source material will especially profit. Pastors will find an explanation of various views as they preach and teach on the subject. The book is one of the most extensive discussions of this challenging New Testament passage on women in the church. "In what is possibly the most thorough examination of 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 to date, Alex Carr offers an insightful discussion of the history of research, literary context, historical context, and theological context of this debated text. His knowledge of the topic is vast, his arguments cogent, and his conclusion persuasive. Carr's research will topple several of the popular theories and become the work with which all future scholarship simply must engage." --Charles L. Quarles, Research Professor of New Testament and Biblical Theology; Charles Page Chair of Biblical Theology, Southeastern Seminary "After decades of debate and libraries of books on the ministry of women, Alex Carr's study shows there are new insights still to be had from examining the biblical texts afresh. Paul, Women, and the Meaning of Silence demonstrates that lexical, literary, historical, and theological factors weigh against Paul's command in 1 Corinthians 14:34 demanding 'absolute silence' of women. Instead, Carr shows that Paul's command enjoins women to temporary silence during a specific time in the church gathering, namely, during the weighing of prophecies. His findings support the authenticity of the text and shed light on the contribution and participation of women in the first century church and today." --Claire S. Smith, Author of Pauline Communities as 'Scholastic Communities': A Study of the Vocabulary of 'Teaching' in 1 Corinthians, 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus (2012) "1 Corinthians 14:34-35 at first glance appears to silence all women in church, yet 11:5 permits them to pray and prophesy if their heads are covered. A plethora of approaches has developed both to affirm and deny that this is an irreconcilable contradiction. But Alex Carr deftly guides his readers through the maze of options that scholars have developed, showing there is no contradiction at all. A welcome addition to a crowded field of studies." --Craig L. Blomberg, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of New Testament, Denver Seminary
Call Number: BS2675.6.W65 C377
Publication Date: 2023-01-31
Cultures Colliding : American missionaries, Chinese resistance, and the rise of modern institutions in China by John R. HaddadAs incredible as it may seem, the American missionaries who journeyed to China in 1860 planning solely to spread the Gospel ultimately reinvented their entire enterprise. By 1900, they were modernizing China with schools, colleges, hospitals, museums, and even YMCA chapters. In Cultures Colliding, John R. Haddad nimbly recounts this transformative institution-building--how and why it happened--and its consequences. When missionaries first traveled to rural towns atop mules, they confronted populations with entrenched systems of belief that embraced Confucius and rejected Christ. Conflict ensued as these Chinese viewed missionaries as unwanted disruptors. So how did this failing movement eventually change minds and win hearts? Many missionaries chose to innovate. They built hospitals and established educational institutions offering science and math. A second wave of missionaries opened YMCA chapters, coached sports, and taught college. Crucially, missionaries also started listening to Chinese citizens, who exerted surprising influence over the preaching, teaching, and caregiving, eventually running some organizations themselves. They embraced new American ideals while remaining thoroughly Chinese. In Cultures Colliding, Haddad recounts the unexpected origins and rapid rise of American institutions in China by telling the stories of the Americans who established these institutions and the Chinese who changed them from within. Today, the impact of this untold history continues to resonate in China.
Call Number: BV3415.3 .H233
Publication Date: 2023-01-13
Finding Phoebe : what New Testament women were really like by Susan E. HylenForget what you think you know about women in the early church. In this learned yet accessible book, Susan E. Hylen introduces first-century primary sources to illuminate readers' understanding of New Testament women. Perfect for clergy, spiritual reading groups, and all curious minds, Finding Phoebe combines incisive scholarship and instructional sensibility to encourage readers to develop their own informed interpretations of Scripture. Contrary to popular conceptions of "biblical womanhood" as passive and silent, women often served as leaders and prophets in their communities. Women owned one-third of all property during the period, granting them access to civic power through patronage. Many women worked outside the home and were educated according to the needs of their professions. Through careful examination of "modesty" and "silence" in the Greco-Roman world, Hylen reveals the centrality of these virtues to both men and women practicing self-control in service of communal good. Hylen's work will challenge readers to free their minds of modern preconceptions and consider New Testament women on their own terms. This practical book includes historical context, scriptural evidence, and questions for discussion.
Recent books related to Sex, Gender and the Bible added to Library, 2022-23
When a Human Gives Birth to a Raven: rabbis and the reproduction of species by Rafael Rachel NeisA free ebook version of this title is available through Luminos, University of California Press's Open Access publishing program. Visit www.luminosoa.org to learn more. This book investigates rabbinic treatises relating to animals, humans, and other life-forms. Through an original analysis of creaturely generation and species classification by late ancient Palestinian rabbis and other thinkers in the Roman Empire, Rafael Rachel Neis shows how rabbis blurred the lines between humans and other beings, even as they were intent on classifying creatures and tracing the contours of what it means to be human. Recognizing that life proliferates by mechanisms beyond sexual copulation between two heterosexual "male" and "female" individuals of the same species, the rabbis proposed intricate alternatives. In parsing a variety of creatures, they considered overlaps and resemblances across seemingly distinct species, upsetting in turn unmitigated claims of human distinctiveness. When a Human Gives Birth to a Raven enters conversations in animal studies, queer theory, trans theory, and feminist science studies to provincialize sacrosanct ideals of reproduction in favor of a broader range that spans generation, kinship, and species. The book thereby offers powerful historical alternatives to the paradigms associated with so-called traditional ideas.
Call Number: EBOOK
Publication Date: 2023-06-06
Virgin Territory by Julia Kelto LillisWomen's virginity held tremendous significance in early Christianity and the Mediterranean world. Julia Kelto Lillis demonstrates that early Christian thinkers developed diverse definitions of virginity and understood its bodily aspects in surprising, often nonanatomical ways. Eventually Christians took part in a cross-cultural shift toward viewing virginity as something that could be perceived in women's sex organs. Treating virginity as anatomical brought both benefits and costs. By charting this shift and situating it in the larger landscape of ancient thought, Virgin Territory illuminates unrecognized differences among early Christian sources and historicizes problematic ideas about women's bodies that still persist today.
Call Number: BS2615.52 .M544
Publication Date: 2023
Women in John's Gospel by Susan Miller; Chris Keith (Series edited by)Closely examines John's portrayal of women in relation to discipleship and the theme of new creation, arguing that these depictions are influenced by his apocalyptic world-view. By employing historical and literary methods of biblical interpretation to analyse John's presentation of women and gender, Miller explores the extent to which John gives any indications of the female role in both John's community and the beginnings of the Christian faith. Beginning with the Virgin Mary's portrayal at the wedding at Cana, where she prompts Jesus to carry out his first sign, Miller then thoroughly asses several crucial female characters in John to stress how Jesus' female followers truly recognise him as the Messiah. These include the Samaritan woman, Martha and Mary of Bethany and Mary Magdalene and her encounter with Jesus in the garden. Crucially, Miller suggests that John's frequent use of "woman" links these female followers (particular Jesus' venerated mother) with the figure of Eve in Genesis, and she concludes that women are associated with the "hour" of Jesus when he casts out the "ruler of the world" and inaugurates the new creation.
In the Image of Her : recovering motherhood in the Christian tradition by Amy E. MargaThe body of the mother is both everywhere and nowhere in the Christian imagination. Western Christianity has long viewed the mother's body as a vessel. Through her, nothing less than the sin and the salvation of all humanity entered history. Eve birthed children into sin, and the Virgin Mary brought forth the savior of the world. Christian theologians across the centuries have largely focused on these two idealized mothers at the expense of actual biological mothers. By the same token, modern feminist theology has shied away from seeing mothers as feminist agents in God-talk in its drive toward equity in religious leadership.
With In the Image of Her, Amy Marga argues that a feminist, maternal theology is an overlooked and yet critical perspective for our understanding of God's work in the world. Far from only being vessels of new creation, the bodies of mothers are distinct ecosystems of God's creative agency and demonstrate how God's work involves both cooperation and competition. Marga seeks to broaden the Christian imagination about women and creativity, and to liberate actual biological mothers from myths of Christian motherhood. Two kinds of historical evidence give us some sense of what Christians imagined about mothering and women who were mothers: discourse from within the all-male theological writing establishment, and documented practices of women around the events of motherhood, such as magical customs around pregnancy and birth; the pilgrimages women took in order to pray for safe delivery; and ecclesiastical rituals such as postpartum rites of purification.
It may seem that mothers' perspectives and practices did not influence the Christian theological imagination. Marga, however, maps historical and theological developments around Christian perspectives on mothering to show that Christian mothers—along with and in spite of male-dominated institutions and ideas—have continued to shape their own motherhoods, creatively and boldly adapting the received traditions of the faith to their circumstances for their own survival and the survival of their children.