In part one I drew attention to the problem that this verse seems to contradict what Paul himself approves and to some funny things going on in and around the verse. Here I’ll focus on my reason for mentioning this, how we should respond when a Bible passage seems to contradict what the same author says or does elsewhere…Read More →

Gender is not (only) a Feminist issue! I ended my double post Proverbs as a gendered text and Proverbs as a gendered text: Proverbs 31:10ff. with the question of where reading such (strongly) male texts left women readers. Sadly it has had little response, (though thank you Judy 🙂 So I’ll end this podcast with a reverse of the question with which I ended the one on Pr 31, and suggest there are parts of the Bible that heterosexual men can only read with the help of a little creative gender bending. Let’s see what you make of my (literal) reading of Song 2:1ff.?!Read More →

The poem in Prov 31:10ff. has been read in various ways, by men and by women, as an oppressive and as a liberating text. I will suggest two clues to making sense of the poem. The first is to read it in the context of the book of Proverbs (and not as an isolated poem), and the second is to read it precisely as a gendered text. This podcast was provoked by reading a short piece on this text by Ann Wansborough produced back in 1992 for the Uniting Church in Australia’s “Commission on Women and Men”. (Thank you Judy 🙂 BTW since Proverbs is aRead More →

While it is quite clear that Proverbs is a gendered text, the way it speaks of women is interesting. For a text coming from an ancient patriarchal society human women who serve as aspirational models are a surprise. No doubt any real Feminist would instantly switch into “pedestal” mode, but I think it’s worth pausing and noticing what’s going on, and maybe as I’ll suggest in a follow-up podcast finding inspiration for contemporary spiritualities…  Read More →