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October 2021

Sociological directions in feminist biblical studies

Journal/Book: Soc Compass. 1999; 46: 6 Bonhill Street, London EC2a 4Pu, England. Sage Publications Ltd. 441-453.

Abstract: The author surveys the intersection of two approaches to Biblical scholarship, sociological methods and feminist hermeneutics. After establishing a working definition of a feminist approach, three types of sociological method are described. The first is ''social role'': a consideration of social roles fulfilled by women, focusing on description of the place and functions of women in relation to other social actors. The second is ''social hisiory'': a historical approach that focuses on the social description of a particular time, movement or group, in this case women in the ancient world. The third is ''social science'' a study that incorporates or relies on theories and models from the social sciences to provide explanation of social data about women in society. To illustrate the use of these social methods, examples from representative work of feminist Biblical scholars are given which provide a brief survey of these scholars and their work since 1983. The power and utility of social science methodology for feminist scholarship are highlighted. Finally, a survey of a smaller number of scholars illustrates the different ways in which the intersection between feminism and sociological methods is conceived, especially concerning the issues of feminist hermeneutics.

Note: Article Dutcher-Walls P, Univ Toronto, Knox Coll, 59 St George St, Toronto, ON M5S 2E6, CANADA

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