Recovering Nineteenth-Century Women Interpreters of the Bible

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Society of Biblical Lit, 2007 M09 18 - 244 pages

Women have been thoughtful readers and interpreters of scripture throughout the ages, yet the usual history of biblical interpretation includes few women’s voices. To introduce readers to this untapped source for the history of biblical interpretation, this volume presents forgotten works from the nineteenth century written by women—including Grace Aguilar, Florence Nightingale, and Harriet Beecher Stowe, among others—from various faith backgrounds, countries, and social classes engaging contemporary biblical scholarship. Due to their exclusion from the academy, women’s interpretive writings addressed primarily a nonscholarly audience and were written in a variety of genres: novels and poetry, catechisms, manuals for Bible study, and commentaries on the books of the Bible. To recover these nineteenth-century women interpreters of the Bible, each essay in this volume locates a female author in her historical, ecclesiastical, and interpretive context, focusing on particular biblical passages to clarify an author’s contributions as well as to explore how her reading of the text was shaped by her experience as a woman.

 

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Contents

Recovering Womens Voices in the History of Biblical Interpretation
1
Sarah Trimmers Commentary on the Bible
19
Voice of a Mother
31
Conversations on the Bible with a Lady of Philadelphia
45
Catherine McAuleys Interpretation of Scripture
63
A NineteenthCentury Woman as PsalmReader
81
The Kitchen and the Study
99
A Mother to Many
117
Translating the Letter of Scripture Into Life
149
The Prophetic Voice of Christina Rossetti
165
NineteenthCentury Oxford Principal and Bible Interpreter
181
An Adversarial Interpreter of Scripture
201
A Woman of Wisdom and Conviction
217
Contributors
233
Index of Ancient Sources
235
Index of Modern Authors
241

Josephine ButlersSocially Conscious Commentary on Hagar
135

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About the author (2007)

Christiana de Groot is Professor of Religion at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She is the author of The Alien in Israelite Law (1991).

Marion Ann Taylor is Associate Professor of Old Testament at Wycliffe College, The University of Toronto. She is the co-editor of Let Her Speak for Herself: Nineteenth-Century Women Writing on the Women of Genesis (2006) and the author of The Old Testament in the Old Princeton School (1812–1929) (1992).

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