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Strangely Familiar: Protofeminist Interpretations of Patriarchal Biblical Texts
Nancy Calvert Koyzis, Heather E. Weir, editors
Publication Date
November 2009


Until recently, the voices of women who interpreted the Bible prior to the feminism of the late twentieth century had been largely forgotten. However, the current recovery of these women’s interpretive works reveals writings that seem “strangely familiar” in their anticipation of later feminist approaches to the biblical text and their thematic interest in liberation. In this volume, the contributions of seventeenth- to nineteenth-century women—including Arcangela Tarabotti, Aemelia Lanyer, and Josephine Butler—are addressed in their historical and cultural contexts. Each of these recovered authors worked to liberate women from interpretations of the Bible that proved oppressive to them. Leading feminist biblical scholars assess the works of these forerunners, or protofeminists, in light of contemporary feminist approaches, and the collection as a whole illustrates the significance of these neglected works for reception history, biblical studies, and women’s studies.

The contributors include Nancy Calvert-Koyzis and Heather E. Weir; Amanda W. Benckhuysen; Robert Knetsch; J. Cheryl Exum; Marion Ann Taylor; Joy A. Schroeder; Esther Fuchs; Christiana de Groot; Caroline Blyth; Philippa Carter; Beth Bidlack; Pamela J. Walker; Sandra Hack Polaski; J. Ramsey Michaels; Ben Witherington, III; Hilary Elder; Agnes Choi; Barry Huff; and Pauline Nigh Hogan.

Nancy Calvert-Koyzis teaches part-time in the Department of Religious Studies at McMaster University and chairs the Recovering Female Interpreters of the Bible Section of the Society of Biblical Literature. She is the author of Paul, Monotheism and the People of God: The Significance of Abraham Traditions for Early Judaism and Christianity (T&T Clark).
Heather E. Weir teaches part-time at Wycliffe College, Toronto School of Theology, and at Tyndale University College, and co-edited Let Her Speak for Herself (Baylor University Press).

Click here for a printable publication sheet, including table of contents, that you can put in your files or give to your librarian or bookstore.