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Daughter Zion Talks Back to the Prophets: A Dialogic Theology of the Book of Lamentations
Carleen R. Mandolfo
SemeiaSt 58
Publication Date
October 2007


Daughter Zion Talks Back to the Prophets offers a new theological reading of the book of Lamentations by putting the female voice of chapters 1–2 into dialogue with the divine voice of prophetic texts in which God represents the people Israel as his wife and indicts them/her for being unfaithful to him. In Lamentations 1–2 we hear the “wife” talk back, and from her words we get an entirely different picture of the conflict showcased through this marriage metaphor. Mandolfo thus presents a feminist challenge to biblical hegemony and patriarchy and reconstrues biblical authority to contribute to the theological concerns of a postcolonial world.

Carleen Mandolfo is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Colby College in Waterville, Maine. She is the author of God in the Dock: Dialogic Tension in Psalms of Lament (Sheffield Academic Press); co-author of From Earth’s Creation to John’s Revelation: The Interfaces Biblical Storyline Companion (Liturgical Press); and co-editor of Relating to the Text: Interdisciplinary and Form-Critical Insights on the Bible (T&T Clark).

“Mandolfo offers a welcome addition to the plethora of recent works that have significantly increased our understanding of Lamentations and its context. … M. makes a valuable contribution to the scholarship on Lamentations. Her insightful and innovative use of feminist and postcolonial reading strategies in concert with a dialogical hermeneutic will certainly reward all who take the time to explore her book.”
— Charles William Miller, Catholic Biblical Quarterly

“This short but impressively argued and often moving study is a fine illustration of how the dialogic encounter between the text and a modern reader, in this case informed by the best insights of feminist and postcolonial scholarship, can find valuable new things to say even about some of the most familiar biblical language and imagery.”
— J. F. A. Sawyer, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament