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Christian Feminism in the News

September 5, 2019 As active readers of the Christian Feminism Today website the majority of us wouldn't be surprised to find out that feminists can...

Women Serving as Clergy in the Early Church

August 26, 2019 Women serving as clergy in the early church may have been more common place than has previously been believed. Backed by research...

Devotions from HERstory: 31 Days with Women of Faith

“Besides being well-structured for personal use, this book could also be used in group settings as a source of reflection and discussion. Further information is provided about the historical person at the end of each daily section, including additional resources. At the end of the book, there is a timeline of the featured historical women and a list of suggested readings on other inspiring women.”

The Care of the Self in Early Christian Texts

“By focusing on practices instead of on what we assume were their beliefs, Saxon’s research reveals a rich variety of early Christ movements. In particular, her research on the approaches to martyrdom in different communities dispels the false dichotomy of 'orthodox' versus 'heretics' or 'Gnostics.'”

Hemorrhage

May 2019 Poetry Selection
You are electric
waltzing aware of privilege
storing that excess
energy in masculine swagger

Nameless

November 2018 Poetry Selection
Manoah’s wife was one of those women / with closed wombs who inhabit pages / of the Bible, women like Sarah and Elizabeth, / too old to conceive, Rachel and Hannah, / who also yearned for children...

Minimized Memoir

October 2018 Poetry Selection
Luke secondhand remembers harshly / Overlooked Martha: upset, anxious, aggressive, / distracted, troubled, bothered, encumbered, / fretting, fussing, busy, missing...

“Eve’s Summons” and “Maryam’s Labor”

July 2018 Poetry Selection
Maryam is giving birth
Her face is sweaty like a laborer,
like a marathon runner
God is her Doula massaging
the small of her back with a tennis ball

The Gospel and #MeToo

April 2, 2018 Today's link is a surprisingly good piece from a mainstream news outlet, "How Easter became a #MeToo moment." "The Gospels are full of...

Womanist Midrash: A Reintroduction to the Women of the Torah and...

The original scripture translations are an important feature of "Womanist Midrash," created from the author’s studies of the original languages. These fresh translations present new insights into well-known passages.

Godde Sets the Stage for Each of Us During Christmas

What Gabriel asks of Mary is what Godde asks of each of us—just in different ways. It lies within our power of choosing, to conceive—in our hearts—the Godde who chooses us. We all stand with Mary today, summoned to an adventure filled with peril and misunderstanding and mystery and unspeakable grief . . . and joy that can turn the whole world upside down!

Mother Goose, Mother Jones, Mommie Dearest: Biblical Mothers and Their Children

... the contributors of this volume delve into topics such as the problematic aspects of the relationship between Jesus and his mother, the Bible being read as a Mother Goose tale, whether working mothers are “wrecking” their children, and the response of people of faith to the reality of incest and the sexual abuse of children within their congregations.

Ora et Labora (Prayer and Work): A Sermon of Mary and...

Women are forced to partake in ferocious competition for limited resources instead of being immersed in a faithful community where there is not only enough for all but in which all are valued.

Was Esther a Post-Colonial Feminist?

Esther was in the same situation that many women in the postcolonial world are in; and in the end, like her, they do what they need to do in order to survive. And sometimes, through subversion, cleverness, or simply taking advantage of unexpected opportunities to exercise influence, they can go beyond survival and bring about change.

Hagar Poems

Centering Hagar Poems on Hajar’s tale, a problematic moment in sacred narrative, the profusion of viewpoints contributes to Kahf’s nuanced approach. Looking at Hajar from her own point of view, as Sarah and Abraham see her, in anger, in forgiveness, as heroine, foremother, and exile, Kahf shows how the different sides of the story have much to say to one another.

Lady Midrash: Poems Reclaiming the Voices of Biblical Women

I am so thankful for the honor given to these biblical women by these poems. This collection, spoken through the voices of women in both testaments, puts flesh and energy into what have too often become stale stories from our early Sunday School days—if we heard them there at all.

A New View of Mary and Martha

Hanson raises important questions about the traditional reading. She points out that we read into it things that aren’t actually there. For example, we assume that Jesus and twelve other tired, hungry men showed up on Mary and Martha’s doorstep unannounced. Any decent host would be alarmed. But the passage doesn’t state that any other disciples were present.

Salty Wives, Spirited Mothers, and Savvy Widows: Capable Women of...

In addition to Spencer’s literary prowess and clever wordplays (why didn’t I think of an “ambushed Moses”?), his feminist intuitions are so spot-on we might call him an honorary female! His command of scholarly feminist literature is also remarkable—way beyond mine.

Bible Women: All Their Words and Why They Matter

One has the impression in reading Bible Women that the words of women are overwhelmingly (but not always) positive in their courage, spirit of enterprise, and profound spiritual insight. Bible Women brings into focus how often the words of women change the course of events.

Back to the Well: Women’s Encounters with Jesus in the Gospels

Dr. Gench’s studies are accessible for lay readers, with in-depth analysis for pastors and teachers. She provides context and explanations of pertinent aspects of the Greek, and illuminates specific cultural and ritual elements that impact how one would view the text.

Whispering the Word: Hearing Women’s Stories in the Old Testament

...whether a reader is a seasoned student of the Bible or discovering it for the first time, "Whispering the Word" is exceptionally encouraging when it comes to making sense of difficult narratives featuring women in Hebrew Scriptures. Too much of Bible readership, interpretation, and understanding has been saturated by fallen patriarchal cultures. As a result, the speeches, perspectives, and worldviews of women (as well as narrators who tell their stories) are not something that most Bible readers are trained to perceive.

Helpmates, Harlots, and Heroes: Women’s Stories in the Hebrew Bible

People have been re-examining the stories of the Bible through the lens of feminism for years now, but Bellis is foremost – or she should be – among those scholars. Her writing is clear. Her logic is irrefutable, and she is extremely knowledgeable about the limits of a woman’s sphere in the time of the Hebrew scripture.

Mourner, Mother, Midwife: Reimagining God’s Delivering Presence in the Old...

With this insightful book, Claassens has articulated a female trinity for our times, ... [presenting] a God who weeps at suffering, cares for the hurting and needy, and works with us to bring about positive change.

Mary the Anointer—John 12:1-8

Lesson 30 - "The name 'Bethany' means 'house of affliction' or 'house of the poor,' which had to be outside of Jerusalem for purity reasons. Brian Capper, an Acts scholar, suggests that Martha, Mary, and Lazarus may have had Essene connections and have sponsored a poorhouse close to their home. Perhaps Jesus originally met these siblings through his concern for the poor. If Mary’s ointment was poured out in the presence of poor people who were more used to smelling bad odors, a 'house filled with the fragrance of the perfume' (John 12:3) would have been a treat. In their presence, Jesus’s statement would have denoted compassion rather than callousness.

Prostitutes, Virgins and Mothers: Questioning Teachings About Biblical Women

Certainly this book could be meaningful to any Christian wanting a good overview of the women in the Bible, but I also feel the book could be interesting reading for feminists wanting to understand the way layers of patriarchal interference over the years have worked to influence Christian behavior and attitudes toward women. With that said, I don't think this book is "too feminist" to have a wide audience.

Stones of Humiliation for Adulterers—John 7:53-8:11

Lesson 21 - "Perhaps this delectable story was passed on orally, independent of the four Gospels, but was too juicy not to eventually insert into a canonical document. In any case, it is consistent with Jesus’ other evasion of verbal traps and his respect for women and their equal rights with men."

Rabboni, My Love: A memoir of Jesus’ Wife, Mary Magdalene

What Kerr has done is exactly what the original authors of the New Testament Gospels have done: Assembled a variety of sources and traditions, rearranged and rewritten them in a pattern that makes sense to them, and filled in the blanks in such a way as to address burning contemporary questions.

The Gospel of Mary: An Inclusive Gospel

The spiritual path to authentic humanity is dramatically displayed in the central drama of Mary’s Gospel, a narrative often described as the ascent of the soul (Mary 15:1-17:7). The narrative relates Mary’s vision of a soul encountering (and overcoming) seven malevolent powers that seek to keep it bound and drag it down.

Creating a Scene in Corinth: A Simulation

"Creating a Scene in Corinth sets up experiences of role-playing as an interactive method for understanding the context and the issues of Paul’s letter to this early group of Jesus followers. It involves us in biblical criticism at the same time as we personally wrestle with God’s word to us in our day. "

Man Meets Woman at a Well—John 4:1-42—Part II

Lesson 9 - But place does not matter, asserts Jesus. God is spirit; we must worship God within our spirits, for God is actively seeking such people to relate to (23-24). This is a bold assertion. “Place of worship” was what separated Samaritans from Jews. For a Jew, only the temple at Jerusalem was sacred. Now Jesus challenges place, just as he had Jewish ritual law at the Cana wedding! (Lesson 4). For a moment she pauses, uncertain. “Well, when Messiah comes, he’ll tell us the truth about everything!”

Man Meets Woman at a Well—John 4:1-42 (Part I)

Lesson 8 - The Samaritan woman is neither shepherdess nor virgin, and Jesus is no wife-hunter. We don’t know if the woman ever gave Jesus a drink from the well, but we do know that he reversed gender roles and offered her a drink instead. Once again, the author draws from the Hebrew Bible to portray Jesus not only as a prophet in the tradition of his people, but as the “One from Above” who relives Hebrew history—and then breaks its mold in shocking new ways.

Enticed by Eden: How Western Culture Uses, Confuses, (and Sometimes Abuses)...

Providing the evidence of how this narrative functions not only among groups of Christian readers but also among groups with no Christian underpinnings, the authors offer a convincing illustration of the dynamic nature of texts.

What You Didn’t Learn in Sunday School: Women Who Didn’t Shut...

"Atteberry’s goal is pretty clear: she wants to help those who have been influenced by an ideology based on traditional gender roles to realize not only the problems embedded in its assumptions but also to have some inkling of a way to read the Bible differently.

The Story of Ruth: Twelve Moments in Every Woman’s Life

This is a book of distilled wisdom. For me, the moment called "Aging" was especially poignant. It is certainly part of my life review at this period in my life. Reading and responding to the words here was invigorating. Also challenging.

A People’s History of Christianity

Providing a nuanced work, including persons (often women) usually overlooked and dismissed, Bass brings to light the ways in which these previously disregarded people were important shapers of Christian history and tradition.

Of Widows and Meals: Communal Meals in the Book of Acts

Practitioners of the Way of Jesus today—meal servers, food preparers, scholars, pastors, Bible students, lay leaders, social activists, and evangelists—will all find much to ponder, and repeatedly to return to, in Of Widows and Meals.

A Woman of Salt

Three threads of this story [there are many] seem especially powerful to me: (1) the conflict with the mother that starts when Ruth enters puberty; (2) the attempt through much of Ruth's life to pretend that her body doesn't matter; (3) the struggle to discover the life of the spirit through the mind alone.

The Red Tent and Good Harbor by Anita Diamant

In addition to the theme of women's friendships, both novels deal with the theme of choosing a religion... Clearly, the God that women worship and the communities in which women worship their God are unique and bind women, ancient and modern, together in Diamant's world.

Junia: The First Woman Apostle

If Paul himself did not expect women to be silent when it came to church matters, the question is open: is “Junian” a male companion of Andronicus, or the latter’s wife and an apostle in her own right -- who together carry on missionary work similar to that of Prisca and Aquila (Rom. 16:3-5)?

Ancient Wisdom from a Foreign Woman

Unfortunately, much in our political justice and tax systems today seem to be working against the needs of the less fortunate. Using an image from Lemuel's mother, we see too many powerful corporations get drunk on their profits and "pervert the rights of all the afflicted."

Great Women in Church History

Central to all of these women's lives was their love for God, their devotion to Christ, and their compassion for others. Love. Christ commanded that we love God with all our heart. These women did so, often with an intensity and selflessness that affronts us the the post-Freudian, narcissistic world in which we live.

Soul Sisters: Women in Scripture Speak to Women Today

Recurrent themes include the silencing and disempowerment of women and our pain at being defined and controlled by our cultures at the expense of our own voices and identities. Gateley's writing rings out, calling for women to define ourselves, to challenge the systems that imprison us in gender roles

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