Arthur happened to be sitting next to me as I read the introduction to Tamar’s Tears. He was regularly interrupted from his own reading by my excited exclamations. Here are two notable quotables. Long-time readers of our blog will recognise my own sentiments here, though the authors are much more eloquent than I!
Sometimes [evangelicals] do find ourselves embattled, defending the truth… But not all the time; at times, a more irenic, a more conversational approach is appropriate. … Of course, many evangelicals and many feminist biblical scholars would see this interface [between evangelical and feminist approaches] as a skirmish zone in a key conflict over the nature and use of the Bible. We beg to differ, seeking a more excellent way, a friendlier path through this territory that might prove fruitful for both evangelical and feminist scholars.
What then are the key issues that feminist OT hermeneutics raises for evangelical interpreters? Here are some: is the text as a whole, or are particular texts, inherently oppressive? … How do we wrestle with the historical and cultural particularity of the text/s while maintaining that it is the word of a God of freedom and fidelity, a God of love and justice? What do we do with texts that seem to deny women the dignity we believe is rightly theirs – and which have been used in such ways?