How does one read the story of Sarah and Hagar or Jezebel and Rahab today, if one is a woman reader situated in a postcolonial society? This is the question undergirding this work, which considers a selection of biblical texts in which women have significant roles. Employing both a gender and a postcolonial lens, it asks sharp questions both of the interests embedded in the texts themselves and of their impact upon contemporary women readers. Whereas most postcolonial studies have been undertaken from the perspective of the colonized, this work reads the texts from the position of a settler descendant and is an attempt to engage with the disquietening and challenging questions that reading from such a location raises. Letters from early settler women in New Zealand, contemporary fiction, and personal reminiscence become tools for the task, complementing those traditionally employed in critical biblical readings.
Dr. Judith McKinlay teaches in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.
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