This study investigates the presentation of men and women in the Fourth Gospel, seeking to determine whether gender is a significant aspect of characterization in the Gospel. Ten characters, five men and five women, are analyzed regarding their functions in individual scenes and the way in which they contribute to the meaning in the narrative as a whole. Conway introduces gender as a critical category of analysis within a literary approach, specifically as a component in character construction. A consistent pattern emerges in the positive portrayal of women characters in relation to Jesus, but no similarly consistent pattern emerges for the men. The results suggest that gender may stand in for other values in the narrative, such as lack of connection to institutional authority.
“Conway’s book is a fine contribution to the field of literary criticism. With this work she earns her place among the most reliable of feminist scholars.”
—Catholic Biblical Quarterly