Luke, Widows, Judges, and Stereotypes
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Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
Number of Pages: 238
Width: 16.1 cm
Height: 22.7 cm
Biblical narratives are not simply sacred stories for religious communities: They are stories that provide transformative insight into cultural biases. By putting historical criticism and reception history into dialogue with womanist biblical hermeneutics, this book offers a provocative reading of Jesus' parable about a widow who confronts a judge and obtains what she seeks by means of physical threat. Rather than simply reading the widow as the model for "one who prays always and does not lose heart" (Luke 18:1), Dickerson shows that, read in the context of Luke's wider narrative, the widow is more likely demanding "vengeance" instead of justice. Dickerson argues that the Evangelist has domesticated this character and robbed her of both her agency and her moral ambiguity. Then, taking up African American stereotypes initially used to degrade, debase, and control, and reading them into and in light of the parable, Dickerson argues that African American women can both reclaim and find strength in the parabolic and stereotypical figures alike.