Fortress Press

The Bible as Political Artifact: On the Feminist Study of the Hebrew Bible

The Bible as Political Artifact

On the Feminist Study of the Hebrew Bible

Susanne Scholz (Author)


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Biblical studies and the teaching of biblical studies are clearly changing, though it is less clear what the changes mean and how we should evaluate them. Susanne Scholz casts a feminist eye on the politics of pedagogy, higher education, and wider society, decrypting important developments in “the architecture of educational power.” She also examines how the increasingly intercultural, interreligious, and diasporic dynamics in society inform the hermeneutical and methodological possibilities for biblical exegesis. Taken as a whole, these fourteen chapters demonstrate that the foregrounding of gender, placed into its intersectional contexts, offers intriguing and valuable alternative ways of seeing the world and the Bible’s place in it.

  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Hardcover
  • ISBN 9781506420479
  • eBook ISBN 9781506420486
  • Dimensions 6 x 9
  • Pages 352
  • Publication Date October 15, 2017


Introduction: Feminist Readings of the Bible as Political Artifact

Part I: The Pedagogical Politics in Academia and Society

1. Redesigning the Biblical Studies Curriculum

2. Occupy Academic Bible Teaching

3. Standing at the Crossroads with Räisänen’s Programme

Part II: The Politics of Method

4. “Tandoori Reindeer” Exegesis

5. Back Then It Was Legal

6. Lederhosen Hermeneutics

7. The Forbidden Fruit for the New Eve

8. Tell Me How You Read This Story and I Tell You Who You Are

Part III: The Politics of Hermeneutical and Cultural Alternatives

9. Discovering a Largely Unknown Past for a Vibrant Present

10. Was It Really Rape in Genesis 34?

11. “Belonging to All Humanity”

12. How to Read Biblical Rape Texts with Contemporary Title IX
Debates in Mind

13. Biblical Studies is Feminist Biblical Studies, and Vice Versa

14. Barbaric Bibles



This is sorely needed reading.

“With her sharp feminist analysis Susanne Scholz issues a timely call. Biblical readers must take responsibility for their interpretations and engage with the social and political issues that impact both worlds. Today’s hold of neoliberal economics, the presence of the Christian Right, the continuing dominance of a “positivist-scientific” interpretation and reluctance to recognize the contextual nature of texts and interpretations are all crucial concerns. This is sorely needed reading.”

Judith E. McKinlay | Former Senior Lecturer, Department of Theology and Religious Studies, University of Otago

This book should be welcomed by any serious scholar in religious studies.

“In this collection of essays, Dr. Scholz makes a case for reshaping biblical studies as a politically responsible, feminist field of research, in which scholarly erudition provides a rationale for a global struggle for justice. Written and partly published over the last two decades, these wide-ranging essays argue for a shift from dominant methodologies and pedagogic conventions to a contemporary, self aware, and engaged field of research focused on intersectional categories of oppression including gender, race, class, colonialism, and heterosexism. There are very few such feminist assessments of the field of biblical studies, and this book should therefore be welcomed by any serious scholar in religious studies.”

Esther Fuchs | University of Arizona

She shows that the Bible can and should be interpreted in ways that allow all of us to flourish.

“In these essays, Dr. Scholz demonstrates her unfailing commitment to a feminist intersectional analysis. By detailing the implications of feminist approaches to both biblical and cultural studies, as well as how these fields are taught in academic settings, she shows that the Bible can and should be interpreted in ways that allow all of us to flourish.”

Cheryl B. Anderson | Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

Brilliant, just brilliant.

"Brilliant, just brilliant. This book is a must read for presidents of universities, for provosts and deans of schools of humanities, and also for theologians and biblical scholars. Filled with mind blowing information, passionately written, aiming at turning biblical studies in its post modern and post colonial version into the cornerstone of the new politics of hermeneutical and cultural alternatives. And all of this infused with a huge dosis of humour. Sit down, read the book, enjoy the ride.”

Kristin De Troyer | University of Salzburg; President of the European Society of Women in Theological Research 

The Bible as Political Artifact: On the Feminist Study of the Hebrew Bible is a must read!

The Bible as Political Artifact: On the Feminist Study of the Hebrew Bible is a must read! The book provides a program for feminist biblical scholarship and pedagogy that will be of great interest not only to Hebrew Bible scholars but also to students in various fields of religious studies and the humanities. The Bible as Political Artifact provides a very readable introduction to Biblical studies in an intersectional, intercultural and interreligious feminist key. It will be of great interest to readers in a variety of disciplines and social locations.”   

Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza | Harvard University Divinity School