Womanist Interpretations of the Bible: Expanding the Discourse

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Gay L. Byron, Vanessa Lovelace
SBL Press, Nov 4, 2016 - Religion - 358 pages
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Expand the discourse and open the spheres of engagement to include new voices of scholars and bold, innovative interpretive approaches

This edited volume brings together cross-generational and cross-cultural readings of the Bible and other sacred sources by including scholars from the Caribbean, India, and Africa who have not traditionally fit into the narrow U.S., African American paradigm for understanding womanist biblical interpretation. The volume engages the reader in a wide range of interdisciplinary methods and perspectives, such as gender and feminist criticism, social-scientific methods, post-colonial and psychoanalytical theory that emphasize the inherently intersectional dynamics of race, ethnicity, and class at work in womanist thought and analysis.


  • Topics include the Black Lives Matter movement, domestic violence, and AIDS, while at the same time uncovering the roles of children, women, and other marginalized persons in biblical narratives
  • Coverage of Hebrew Bible and New Testament texts, as well as Ifa spiritual narratives, Hindu scripture, and Ethiopic texts
  • Responses from four respected womanist and feminist critics: Katherine Doob Sakenfeld, Emilie Townes, Layli (Phillips) Maparyan, and Sarojini Nadar

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About the author (2016)

Gay L. Byron is Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Professor of New Testament at Howard University School of Divinity in Washington, D.C. Her publications include Symbolic Blackness and Ethnic Difference in Early Christian Literature and commentaries on the book of James in True to Our Native Land: An African American New Testament Commentary and the twentieth anniversary edition of the Women's Bible Commentary. Byron is a member of the SBL Council and the Semeia Studies Editorial Board.

Vanessa Lovelace is Assistant Professor of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta. She is the author of “Religious Leaders: Hebrew Bible” in The [Oxford] Encyclopedia of the Bible and Gender Studies Her research analyzes the intersection of race/ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and nation in the Hebrew Bible narratives through a womanist biblical hermeneutics. She is co-chair of the Women in the Biblical World Unit of the Society of Biblical Literature.

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