Countertraditions in the Bible : A Feminist Approach
In this book, Ilana Pardes explores the tense dialogues between dominant patriarchal discourses of the Bible and counter female voices. Her findings lead to reassessments of patriarchal traditions and of current feminist critiques. Pardes studies women's plots and subplots, dreams, and pursuits, uncovering the diverse and at times conflicting figurations of feminity in biblical texts. She also sketches the ways in which antipatriarchal elements intermingle with other repressed elements in the Bible; polytheistic traditions, skeptical voices, anti-covenantal trends, and erotic longings. The formation of the Hebrew Bible, Pardes shows, entailed not only a concern for unity but also, on occasion, an irrestible attraction toward countertraditions. This book draws on feminist theory, literary criticism, biblical scholarship, and psychoanalysis. Pardes' discussions of Eve as namegiver, Rachel's Dream, the song of the Shulamite, Zipporah's magical act, and the critique of Job's wife should open new lines of thought for feminist critics, literary critics, biblical scholars, and all readers of Bible.
- Hardback | 206 pages
- 147 x 215 x 25.4mm | 420g
- 01 Jun 1992
- HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS
- Cambridge, Mass, United States
- 4 line drawings, notes, bibliography, index
Table of contents
Preliminary excavations - Miriam and her brothers; creation according to Eve - Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Simone de Beauvoir and Kate Millett, Phyllis Trible, Esther Fuchs, Mieke Bal, the book of J, conclusion; beyond Genesis - the politics of maternal naming - maternal naming-speeches, uprising, reversal - dialogic naming, falling again, creative hierarchies, when P expands on genesis, P versus J, mixed languages; Rachel's dream - the female subplot - the young barren one versus the elder cowife, exchanging plots, joining forces, Rachel's death, difference in development, dreams and reality; Zipporah and the struggle for deliverance - female saviors, back to the ark, the bridegroom of blood, textual traces, the Egyptian connection, the politics of transitions, longings, eruption; the book of Ruth - idyllic revisionism, the plot of female bonding, the doubling of the female subject, estrangement, a Midrashic parallel; "I Am a Wall, and My Breasts like Towers" - the Song of Songs and the qustion of canonization - the (im)purity of the Song, Eros, constructions of gender, refraction revisited, dreams and walls, the changing of the guard, the keepers of the Torah; conclusion - Job's wife, beyond peity, fragrant names, open house.
Distinguishing herself from feminists Biblical scholars who regard the Bible as a wholly patriarchal work, Parders sees the text itself as challenging gender distinctions...Her arguments are buttressed with an impressive command of Biblical scholarship and an awareness of the sensitive, nuanced readings to be found in Rabbinic literature.--Yehudah Mirsky "Forward " Ilana Pardes planes the Bible's surface to expose the lineaments that run against the grain, challenging the pat assumptions of our predecessors. Pardes focuses on the unconventional, the irregular, in Biblical literature and points up instances in which a female voice in permitted its say--until the masculine voice resumes.--Edward L. Greenstein "Jerusalem Report "