Bishop's Encyclopedia of Religion, Society and Philosophy

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Feminist readers of the Bible differ in many areas when it comes to their conclusions as well as methodologies (1). However, what they generally agree on is, explains Katharine Doob Sakenfeld, the W. A. Eisenberger Professor of Old Testament Literature and Exegesis at Princeton Theological Seminar, “the beginning point, shared with all feminists studying the Bible, is appropriately a stance of radical suspicion” (2). Robin Parry, in her informative piece Feminist Hermeneutics and Evangelical Concerns, has identified several reasons for this suspicion (3).

This, she explains, is because women’s experiences have been excluded from the official interpretations of the Bible, and often from the Bible itself making the Bible a powerful tool in the oppression of women. Letty Russell, a feminist Reformed theologian, writes that “it has become abundantly clear that the scriptures need liberation, not only from existing interpretations but also from the patriarchal bias of…

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