Gender and Second-Temple Judaism
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Paperback / softback
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
Number of Pages: 260
Width: 15.2 cm
Height: 22.7 cm
Ancient literature was generally written by and produced for elite men. That fact creates specific challenges to modern interpreters of gender roles in the ancient world, especially once contemporary understandings of gender as construction and performance are embraced. In Gender and Second-Temple Judaism, world-renowned scholars take on these challenges with regard to ancient Judaism (here including early Christianity and early rabbinic Judaism as well), at once examining the ancient evidence and quite consciously addressing difficult methodological questions regarding gender. Taken together, these chapters further complicate discussions of the construction of identity (e.g., “who is a Jew?”) by inflecting them with questions of gender construction as well. Scholars of ancient Judaism and of gender alike will find much to grapple with in these pages.
This is a rich collection of studies on gender from Jubilees to Josephus, Jesus to John and Paul. It challenges assumptions, and subverts the marginalisation of gender studies and its relegation to being a niche area. It is a major contribution to contemporary study of gender, an important aspect of what it meant to be human, which is at the heart of religion in Second Temple Judaism. -- William Loader, emeritus professor, Murdoch University The publication of Gender & Second Temple Judaism marks a significant milestone in the discipline; gender as a constructed category now takes its rightful place as an operative analytical lens for the study of ancient Judaism. This important book will surely be a must-have for all bibliographies of works on early Judaism. -- Meredith J.C. Warren, University of Sheffield Through fresh arguments and methodological precision, the authors make a powerful case for the centrality of gender research within Jewish studies. They analyze its current marginalization and question received wisdom on various points, such as on Jewish women's religious roles, authorship of religious texts, followers of Jesus, and Pharisees. They analyze the subtleties of masculinity and femininity within Jewish and Roman culture, examine literary representations of patriarchy and of motherhood, and assess women's authority. They explore the extent to which one can best understand specific New Testament texts on women or with female imagery within the context of contemporaneous Judaism. Students and scholars alike will find this innovative volume indispensable. -- Bernadette J. Brooten, Robert and Myra Kraft Professor, emerita, Brandeis University, and Director of the Feminist Sexual Ethics Project