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Susanne Scholz Reflecting on the Feminist Hebrew Bible Scholarship of Phyllis Trible, Tikva Frymer-Kensky, and Judith McKinlay

I am the daughter of a proud lineage of feminist Hebrew Bible mothers. I had to travel far and learn to speak and to write in a language other than my German mother’s tongue to earn the privilege to align with my feminist Hebrew Bible mothers’ scholarship and teaching. When I began my academic studies in Protestant Theology at the German public university of Mainz (FYI: in Germany all universities are “public” or government financed), only one woman professor taught there. She was a New Testament scholar and her name was Luise Schottroff (1934–2015). I will always remember Professor Schottroff with gratitude and admiration for what she and her scholarly circle of friends accomplished for German feminist theological scholarship and teaching. Her scholarly friends included the systematic theologian Dorothee Sölle (1929–2003), the church historian Leonore Siegele-Wenschkewitz (1944–1999), and also Marie-Theres Wacker, who just retired from her position as an Old Testament professor at the department of Catholic theology at the University of Münster and with whom I enjoyed a lovely dinner after the international meeting of the European Society of Women in Theological Research (ESWTR) in Leuven, Belgium, this past September.

Because Luise taught New Testament Studies, I will not include her any further in my comments here, except to say that without Luise’s international connections, I might not have received the seed idea to move into the big wide world on my own scholarly journey. Luise made it appear relatively effortless and, in fact, desirable to go to the “source” of feminist theological studies in the United States. She mentioned her international travels and connections as a given when I took her exegetical seminar on the New Testament as a M.Div. student back in the mid-1980s. Until her death in 2015, I had been in professional touch with Luise, and contributed to several of her important book projects, such as the Bibel in gerechter Sprache (BigS), the first inclusive German Bible translation, published in 2006, and the feminist commentary project, entitled Kompendium Feministische Bibelauslegung, which Luise co-edited with Marie-Theres Wacker and which was published in 1999 (and translated into English only in 2012, which is another story altogether).[1]

Suffice it to say right from the start that without my feminist mothers of Christian theology and exegesis, I am not sure I would have been able to find intellectual meaning, depth, and inspiration in my own theological-exegetical studies at the master and doctoral levels. Born a feminist, I am not sure what would have become of me if I had not met them, had not sat in their classrooms, and had not been supervised for my doctoral work by one of the pioneering feminist Bible scholars of the past fifty years, Phyllis Trible. I am forever grateful to all of them. Their feminist determination, bravery, and ingenuity of focusing on the principles of second-wave feminism continue to inspire my own work. In my remarks here, I would like to address some of the challenges, opportunities, and perspectives three renowned feminist Hebrew Bible scholars endured and enjoyed during their careers. One of scholars is my doctoral mentor, Phyllis Trible (1932–); another one is Tikva Frymer Kensky (1943–2006), whom I met once over lunch at JTS after she already knew of her breast-cancer diagnosis—probably around 2004 or 2005, and yet another one is Judith McKinlay (1937–2019), whom I never met in person but knew through her publications. In fact, she contributed an essay to my forthcoming anthology on feminist Hebrew Bible scholarship that is scheduled to be published in 2020.[2] We had our last email correspondence in October 2018 when she inquired about the status of the volume, telling me that her essay will be her last written piece because she had been diagnosed with a brain tumor, from which she died in February 2019.

So let me begin with my former doctoral mentor and now colleague and friend, Phyllis Trible. I begin with Phyllis not only because I know her and her work best but also because her feminist work in Hebrew Bible studies has shaped, nurtured, and inspired feminist biblical research of so many other feminist, womanist, gender focused, and queer exegetes. Trible rose to high prominence in the Society of Biblical Literature by serving as its second female president in 1994. Importantly, Phyllis tells the tale of how she became a feminist biblical scholar not as a story of challenges but of opportunities. It all began when she was a little girl, growing up in Richmond, Virginia, and attending Sunday school. The white little boys and girls were separated by their biological gender into the boys’ group of “ambassadors” and the girls’ group of “auxiliaries.” Phyllis shakes her head when she remembers this nomenclature. One day her Sunday school teacher told the story of Genesis 2, the creation of woman. The teacher explained that God’s creation became better and better, and then the teacher asked: “Little girls, what did God create last?” The girls chirped in unison: “Man!” The teacher replied: “No, woman was created last.” Phyllis smiles in fond memory when she remembers this pedagogical feat of her Sunday school teacher. Early religious education nurtured in Phyllis a deep love for the Bible and the conviction that Scripture is more than androcentric literature, containing possibilities of joy, subversion, and liberation for women and little girls.

Trible highlights another challenge as an opportunity, as she continued on her path of becoming a pioneering voice in feminist Hebrew Bible studies. It goes back to the heart of the second feminist movement and the founding mother of feminist Christian theologies, Mary Daly, who taught at Boston College. By the early 1970s, Phyllis had moved to a teaching position at Andover Newton Theological Seminary in Boston, MA, where she taught until the early 1980s after which she moved to a position as the Baldwin Professor of Sacred Literature at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, where I met her in the fall of 1990. In the early 1970s, the Boston academic and religious community was ablaze from the work of radical feminist philosopher Daly. Intrigued, Trible began attending Daly’s public lectures and read Daly’s books, The Church and the Second Sex, and Beyond God the Father. These books investigate the patriarchal history and tradition of Christianity. Daly always asserted that both Christianity and the Bible are thoroughly patriarchal and contributed to the oppression of women. She thus urged feminists to leave patriarchal religions behind and to take seriously women-centered spirituality and space.

Trible remembers that Daly mentioned Genesis 2–3 as an important narrative for women’s oppression in Western societies. To Daly, the story blames women for the evil in the world because Eve was tempted by the serpent and human nature has been corrupted ever since. Recalling her inner conversations during those days of feminists challenging the authority of the Bible, she counters Daly’s position when she remarks on her exegetical journey in 2000:

“I had left the South to live in the Northeast where I found a theological world in ferment. Feminists were faulting the Bible for patriarchy, faulting it for promoting the pernicious paradigm of male dominance and female subordination. I did not have to be convinced. I knew that even before God formed me [in] the womb, feminism was bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. At the same time, I also knew—decidedly at variance with many feminists—that the Bible fed my life in rich and beneficial ways; that the book I had grown up with in Sunday School where sword drills were routine and memory verses mandatory, continued to make a positive claim upon me, despite its well-documented and oppressive patriarchy. To be sure, I had learned at Meredith College and later in graduate school that the Bible was rather different from what Sunday School teachers and some preachers said. But not even critical and sophisticated ways of studying it diminished and supplanted my love for it. There is a power in the document, and need not work adversely for women or for men. This I knew and this I know, no matter how much others rush to say it isn’t so.”[3]

Provoked by Daly, Trible did not succumb and did not let go of the Hebrew Bible. As a result, she started re-reading Genesis 2–3 and other biblical narratives, employing the literary method of rhetorical criticism, as she had learned about it from her doctoral mentor, James Muilenburg. She investigated the literary structure of the Hebrew syntax, compared vocabulary, and studied the commentaries, as she had been trained for years. She also asked herself if perhaps she had overlooked the Bible’s oppressive qualities for women and if it was possible that her love for the Bible would make her excuse its patriarchal bias. The rest is history, and her book, God and the Rhetoric of Sexuality: Literary-Feminist Readings of Biblical Narrative, published in 1978, and the companion volume that is probably more often quoted than her first book, Texts of Terror: Literary-Feminist Readings of Biblical Narrative, published in 1984,[4]are the result of her considerations of Daly’s challenge. Both books wrestle with “depatriarchalizing” biblical literature.[5] In many of her later writings, Trible emphasizes repeatedly “to love this book”[6] and to “not abandon the Bible” and, in fact, to “take back the text.”[7] In short, her work centers on the conviction that we need to wrestle with the Bible and to search for its blessing and not for its curse “so that you and your descendants, indeed so that all the families of the earth, may live.”[8]

The second feminist Hebrew Bible scholar I would like to mention is Dr. Tikva Frymer-Kensky, who was friends with Trible. She taught at the University of Chicago Divinity School until her death in 2006. When Tikva visited her husband who taught at the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS), both feminist exegetes often met for lunch, talking about feminist exegesis and more. I, too, met Tikva for lunch at the cafeteria of JTS around 2003 or 2004 – I do not remember the exact date anymore. But I had already published my book on Genesis 34,[9] and I knew she disagreed with my translation of ‘innah as “to rape.” She found this translation anachronistic although she was sympathetic to my efforts of deconstructing interpretations that classified Shechem’s rape as “love” or approved of his marriage proposal. Tikva was a hardcore Assyriologist and Sumerologist whose Jewish background made her want to understand the origins of the biblical texts within the ancient Near Eastern world, but who was definitely open to feminist perspectives and concerns.

Importantly and similar to Phyllis, Tikva recognized in her religious tradition much liberating potential already during her early school years. She remembered that going to school became “traumatic” after the public school decided to bring differently gifted elementary-school children into the same class. From that moment onward, Tikva became the “whiz kid” whose smartness annoyed the other children. They even attacked her and recalled that going to Hebrew school offered her reprieve from the steady does of boredom and harassment at her public school. She explained:

“Going to school became a tormenting mix of intellectual boredom and social anxiety. [But] [t]here was one oasis in my education: Hebrew school, which I attended for two hours each Monday through Thursday and all morning on Sundays…. Hebrew school was a joyous spot in my day: I was accepted socially and stimulated intellectually – certainly not most children’s reactions to Hebrew school…. It was there that I first began to associate religious studies with intellectual challenge and stimulation.”[10]

Frymer-Kensky’s educational aspirations were always high. At ten years of age, she wanted to become a nuclear engineer, teaching “the peaceful uses of the atom” with the goal of contributing to tikun olam, the repair of the world.[11] Yet she felt harassed by the “mean-spirited persecution that the physical sciences teachers inflicted on me, the girl who wanted to go into a ‘man’s profession’.”[12] Then, in college as a first-year student, she discovered “much to my surprise I didn’t like calculus and I didn’t like engineering.” She again felt bored in general studies courses and only “came alive intellectually in the evening when I studied Bible and Talmud” in her classes at JTS.[13] She realized “I had my priorities backward: I should read science for fun and study Bible as a profession.”[14]

As she began to prepare for a career in biblical studies, she realized that “[t]he field of biblical studies was no more open to women than high school physics.” There, too, she missed “female role models.”[15] She wrote about this moment of insight:

“But none of that mattered because I was determined to master it [biblical studies] and learn everything I needed to know to answer the questions about the Bible that interested me—questions about law and religion and the relations between them, questions about the development of biblical ideas from prebiblical through postbiblical times. That meant going to graduate school to earn a Ph.D. – not in Bible, but in Assyriology. I had spent eight years at the seminary studying Bible with Muffs, Paul, Moshe Held, and H.L. Ginsberg. Not realizing that there were approaches to the Bible other than the philological and close-reading techniques I had learned at the seminary, I didn’t even consider the possibility of a graduate degree in biblical studies. The seminary taught us a kind of arrogance: Along with the texts, we learned that our professors were the best text readers in the world, and that to the degree that we mastered their techniques we could aspire to grow into their excellence. I couldn’t stay at the seminary, which did not have a graduate school and did not admit women to the rabbinical school, so I would have to leave to study elsewhere, but why go somewhere to a pale imitation (we all thought) of the seminary?”[16]

And so the whiz kid went to Yale University to study Assyriology and law with J.J. Finkelstein, where she flourished and thrived. Yet in 1978, a “funny thing happened to” her; she became pregnant.[17] Since academic women like her tried to ignore what was happening to their bodies and were told to just take off two weeks after giving birth and then come back to work as if nothing had happened to their bodies and changed in their lives, Tikva had not even asked for a maternity leave. She feared the tenure committee would not look favorably at her request. In her fortieth week, however, she realized that things would not go so smoothly. Her obstetrician told her that he would need to do a C-section right away, and she should come back for surgery the next morning. On “[t]hat evening, I couldn’t get interested in the novels and I didn’t want to watch television. I realized that I didn’t want to distract myself; I wanted to concentrate and meditate on the birth. I spent a lovely three hours studying the birth incantations, during which time my anxieties melted away into a feeling of being part of a long chain of women giving birth and having difficulty doing so.”[18]

After the recovery, the Assyrian scholar became “angry,” wondering: “Why was it that a woman fairly well trained in Judaism and in Christianity had to go all the way to ancient Mesopotamia to find something to read to focus on birth—and what did the poor women do who couldn’t read Sumerian?” This question changed Frymer-Kensky’s research agenda despite warnings from “well-meaning colleagues” that her new interest in women and religion, and more specifically on goddess religion in the ancient Near East, would “destroy my reputation.”[19] The result of her careful, diligent, and meticulous work led to her renowned monograph, entitled In the Wake of the Goddesses: Women, Culture, and the Biblical Transformation of Pagan Myth and published in 1992. In this book, Frymer-Kensky traces the literary-historical developments of goddess worship in the Hebrew Bible and the ancient Near East.

The research shift toward a feminist understanding of the biblical and ancient Near Eastern past changed Frymer-Kensky’s hermeneutics dramatically. The change is obvious in a 1994 essay on the relationship between biblical and women’s studies. In the first paragraph she explained:

“In the past two decades there has been a tremendous change in biblical studies. The scientistic philosophy that prevailed for more than a century has given way, in biblical studies as in other humanities, to a more sophisticated understanding of the interaction between the now and the then, the reader and the text. Old ideas of history as “what actually happened” and text as having one correct and original meaning have yielded to a current view of the continual interaction of the viewer and what is seen, of the text and its reader. No longer do we believe that there is a truly “value neutral” way of reading literature or reconstructing history.”[20]

She appreciated the hermeneutical development in biblical studies that takes seriously the significance of readers in the exegetical process. She also mentioned that hermeneutical approaches from liberation theology, womanism, feminism, literary criticism, or “third-world” perspectives prove the significance of readers. She recognized that “[t]his turmoil in biblical studies has brought a general openness in the field.”[21] She agreed that the Bible is patriarchal, as it emerged from a patriarchal society, and she considered this trait as a “fundamental moral flaw” of the Bible because “it does not treat all humans as equals.”[22] Wrestling with this situation, she stated in 1994:

“We in the modern world are learning that respect for the equality of all human beings and their common dignity is a moral imperative. Our perception of a moral imperative that does not derive from biblical teaching indicates that the Bible is no longer our only or even our final arbiter of morality. This has enormous religious implications. The authority of the Bible must be tempered with the authority of our experiences as human beings and our principles of morality. It is true that many of our moral ideas ultimately come from the Bible, but it is also true that they have been inspired by our continued relfection on the Bible during the millennia since it was written. The Bible did not eradicate slavery; it was up to people to do so. The Bible did not eradicate patriarchy; that is a task for current generations. The Bible did not eradicate economic oppression, and we do not have a clue as to how do so.”[23]

The acknowledgement of the Bible’s limitations did not sit well with Frymer-Kensky. Like Trible, she was attached to the Torah and tried, perhaps unconsciously, to “rescue” or “take back” the Bible from feminist rejection. For instance, Frymer-Kensky emphasized that “the Bible does not attempt to justify this subordination [of women] by portraying women as subhuman or as other in any way.”[24] She asserted that biblical women have “the same set of goals, the same abilities, and the same strategies as biblical men” and that “the Bible is not essentialist on gender.”[25] In other words, Frymer-Kensky maintained that “the Bible did not justify social inequality by an ideology of superiority or otherness,” but that “the Bible’s explicit ideology presents a unified vision of humankind wherein women and men were created in the image of God and no negative stereotypes are attached to women, the poor, slaves, or foreigners.”[26]

In short, Frymer-Kensky considered the Bible “gender blind and gender-neutral”[27] and not “completely patriarchal.”[28] Tikva did not want to give up combining the “intellectual occupation” and “spiritual exercise” in her study of the Torah because she recognized “that my studies could have ramifications on the spiritual lives of people who might never even hear my name.”[29] Her publications on women’s prayers and religious practices, such as Motherprayer: The Pregnant Woman’s Spiritual Companion (published in 1995), are the most obvious indicators for the theological and spiritual care she hoped to offer as a feminist biblical scholar.

The third Hebrew Bible scholar whom I would like to mention is Judith E. McKinlay who passed away in February 2019. Her son, who is an Otago Daily Times editor, wrote a very touching obituary of his mother that includes hitherto unknown personal and academic details about McKinlay’s academic and professional journey.[30] I also would like to acknowledge that Judith and I never met in person although we were in email contact because of my anthology to which she contributed. Her essay in this volume is her last written piece, entitled “Biblical Border Slippage and Feminist Postcolonial Criticism.” Her essay illustrates the intellectual, hermeneutical, and exegetical maturity of her work. Taking cues from the biblical figures of Eve and Wisdom, McKinlay reflects on the accomplishments and positioning of postcolonial biblical (feminist) studies, stressing that “despite differing methodologies [postcolonial feminist] scholars share a concern for the ways in which women are represented and frequently ‘othered’ in border-slipping texts.”[31]

Judith was born into a clergy family in Aotearoa New Zealand in 1937. The family traces its settler lineage back to Rev. Norman McLeon whose community “left Scotland for Nova Scotia in 1817, and after some years there sailed on to New Zealand where, after requesting land for his close Gaelic speaking community, finally settled in Northland at Waipu…. Her Waipu family was one of teachers, her greatgrandfather the first teacher and registrar of the community there.”[32] Judith acknowledged the geopolitical connections between her social location and her biblical hermeneutics as a feminist scholar. For instance, she stated in 2017: “As a woman, and a feminist, I know a little about Othering from the underside, but, as a white New Zealander (a Pakeha) belonging to the dominant culture in a postcolonial society, I am also aware of its binary opposite.”[33] In fact, she was always very precise and open in referring to her personal background, explaining in 2004:

“Geographically I am a New Zealander, living at the south of the Pacific. But if I expand that to say that I live in Aotearoa New Zealand that already hints at more to be said. For I am a Pakeha, non-Maori, living in a country originally settled by Maori, but subsequently entered by Europeans, first arriving in significant numbers in the nineteenth century, as whalers, traders and settlers. On my father’s side my roots in this land go back four generations. My ancestors left Scotland under the leadership of a somewhat charismatic religious figure, Norman McLeod, who had had a number of disputes with his church authorities, and had decided to emigrate to Nova Scotia in Canada. There they settled and formed a self-identified Presbyterian community. Then, in the 1850s, a significant number, including McLeod, left Nova Scotia and travelled on again to New Zealand. The family history that has been passed down to my generation begins with the highland clearances and the enforced landlessness of disposed crofters, followed both by the failing herring trade in Scotland and divisive church disputes. Those that set sail again from Nova Scotia arrived in New Zealand as settlers with the land-buying power of a self-contained Gaelic speaking community, an identity that was carefully maintained for a generation or two and still remembered in Waipu, the original area of settlement, which celebrates this tradition with Highland Games each January. On my mother’s side, however, I claim Yorkshire ancestry, my mother having arrived here in the 1920s with her parents, who were looking for better business opportunities. This mix of early and more recent arrivals is a typically New Zealand heritage.”[34]

In her view, then, postcolonial feminist readers cannot pretend to read biblical texts and characters from distant, uninvolved, and objective positions. McKinlay always related her feminist work to geopolitics, stating that “I will be reading this text from within the worldview I inhabit” and “[t]his is true of all readers, whether we are conscious of it or not.”[35] Because of her intersectional sensibilities, McKinlay’s work belongs to a later feminist exegetical development than the scholarship of Trible or Frymer Kensky. It is deliberatedly intersectional and postcolonial although Judith’s year of birth puts her squarely into the pioneering feminist generation. Yet she began her doctoral work late and only in 1987. She published her doctoral thesis entitled Gendering Wisdom the Host only in 1996. Prior to her academic work, she raised four children and worked as a school teacher at Rangiora High School. In the 1970s, she joined the feminist activist movement in Dunedin where she lived. In 1983, she decided to train for the Presbyterian ministry, which led to her decision to enter a doctoral program in biblical studies. Her son reports:

“In 1990, Judith was nominated for the chair in Old Testament Studies [at Knox Theological Hall, her alma mater], [but] there was opposition that continued all the way to the Church’s highest court, the General Assembly. It looked very much like both Judith’s gender and her feminism were at issue. Nevertheless, a vote at the assembly confirmed Judith in the position, over objections from the floor, and she became professor of Old Testament Studies.”[36]

I do not recall reading anything about this tense time in Judith’s professional career in her writing. As one of her students, Johanna Stiebert, explains: “Again and again, Judith has found new ways to illuminate both the biblical text, as well as something about who and where we are now.”[37] Clearly, she went through a lot, paving and preparing the way for postcolonial feminist biblical exegesis.

In sum, Phyllis Trible, Tikva Frymer Kensky, and Judith McKinlay have shaped the field of biblical studies in profound ways. Most importantly, all of them claim the adjective “feminist” with pride while they pioneered the development of feminist biblical exegesis. Although they focus on “women,” they approach biblical texts from non-essentializing perspectives. They connect the study of the Bible with the “world,” which in their cases means including and building upon feminist theories and practices of the second feminist movement. All three of them were trained in white, male, Eurocentric, and colonizing ways of studying the Bible, as they are members of the first generation of feminist scholars in the field of biblical studies. We also need to appreciate that they emphasize intellectual-exegetical contradictions as they saw them as feminist scholars. In their exegetical publications they look to resolve those contradictions in more intellectually coherent ways than they were taught. Furthermore, all three scholars practice a text-focused hermeneutics, whether they read behind, within, or in front of the text, still so prevalent in the field. While all three of them accept the significance of readers for the meaning-making process, they assume that (biblical) meanings reside ultimately in the text or behind the text. Importantly, only one of the three feminist scholars (McKinlay) places her feminist analysis consistently within an intersectional framework (postcolonialism). However, Trible and Frymer-Kensky are not opposed to making intersectional connections. For instance, they mention repeatedly the significance of their respective religious backgrounds in their publications. Their almost exclusive focus on “women” might be related to the fact that most of their works appears at a time when feminist theorists uplift “woman” or “women” as analytical categories while intersectionality gains prominence only in the late 1990s and the early twenty-first century. I am certain that Trible and Frymer-Kensky approve of intersectionally framed feminist exegesis although they would always want to keep women as the primary feminist concern in the development of biblical studies as feminist biblical studies and vice versa.


[1] Ulrike Bail, Frank Crüsemann, et al. (eds.), Bibel in gerechter Sprache (Gütersloh: Gütersloher Verlagshaus, 2005); Luise Schottroff and Marie-Theres Wacker (eds.), Kompendium Feministische Bibelauslegung (Gütersloh: Chr. Kaiser/Gütersloher Verlagshaus 1998).

[2] Judith McKinlay, “Biblical Border Slippage and Feminist Postcolonial Criticism,” in The Oxford Handbook of Feminist Approaches to the Hebrew Bible, ed. Susanne Scholz (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, in press).

[3] Phyllis Trible, “Take Back the Bible,” Review and Expositor 97 (Fall 200): 428.

[4] Fortress Press published both volumes.

[5] Phyllis Trible, “Depatriarchalizing in Biblical Literature,” Journal of the American Academy of Religion 41 (March 1973).

[6] Phyllis Trible, “Five Loaves and Two Fishes: Feminist Hermeneutics and Biblical Theology,” Theological Studies 50.2 (1989): 295.

[7] Trible, Take Back the Bible,” 431.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Susanne Scholz, Rape Plots: A Feminist-Cultural Study of Genesis 34 (New York: Peter Lang, 2000).

[10] Tikva Frymer-Kensky, “Introduction: A Retrospective,” in Studies in Bible and Feminist Criticism (Philadelphia, PA: The Jewish Publication Society, 2006), xi–xii.

[11] Ibid., xiii.

[12] Ibid.

[13] Ibid.

[14] Ibid.

[15] Ibid.

[16] Ibid., xiv.

[17] Ibid., xv.

[18] Ibid., xvi.

[19] Ibid., xvii.

[20] Tikva Frymer-Kensky, “The Bible and Women’s Studies,” in Feminist Perspectives on Jewish Studies, ed., Lynn Davidman and Shelly Tenenbaum (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1994), 16.

[21] Ibid.

[22] Ibid., 18.

[23] Ibid.

[24] Ibid., 23.

[25] Ibid.

[26] Ibid., 23–24.

[27] Frymer-Kensky, “Introduction,” xviii.

[28] Frymer-Kensky, “The Bible and Women’s Studies,” 24.

[29] Frymer-Kensky, “Introduction,” xxi.

[30] Tom McKinlay, “A life well spend in search of knowledge,” (May 11, 2019):

[31] Judith E. McKinlay, “Biblical Border slippage and Feminist Postcolonial Criticism,” in The Oxford Handbook on Feminist Approaches to the Hebrew Bible, ed. Susanne Scholz (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, in press).

[32] McKinlay, “A life well spend in search of knowledge.”

[33] Judith E. McKinlay, “Jezebel and the Feminine Divine in Feminist Postcolonial Focus,” in Feminist Frameworks and the Bible: Power, Ambiguity, and Intersectionality, ed. L. Juliana Claassens and Carolyn J. Sharp (Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies 630; London: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2017), 60.

[34] Judith E. McKinlay, “A Matter of Difference,” chap. in Reframing Her: Biblical Women in Postcolonial Focus (Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2004), 16–17.

[35] McKinlay, “Jezebel and the Feminine Divine,” 60.

[36] McKinlay, “A life well spend in search of knowledge.”

[37] Johanna Stiebert, “A Response and Tribute to Judith McKinlay,” The Bible & Critical Theory 15.1 (2019):

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Susanne Scholz Ph.D.,

is Professor of Old Testament at Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas, Texas, USA. Her research focuses on feminist biblical hermeneutics, the epistemologies and sociologies of biblical interpretation, cultural and literary methodologies, biblical historiography and translation theories, interfaith and interreligious dialogue, as well as general issues related to women, gender, and sexuality studies in religion. Among her fourteen books and over sixty essays and journal articles are The Bible as Political Artifact: On the Feminist Study of the Hebrew Bible (Fortress Press, 2017) and Introducing the Women’s Hebrew Bible: Feminism, Gender Justice, and the Study of the Old Testament (second rev. and exp. edn; T&T Clark Bloomsbury, 2017), Feminist Interpretation of the Hebrew Bible in Retrospect: Method (Volume 3) (editor; Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2016), and La Violencia and the Hebrew Bible: Politics and Histories of Biblical Hermeneutics on the American Continent (co-editor; SBL Press, 2016). She also is the editor of the book series Feminist Studies and Sacred Texts (Lexington Books).

© Susanne Scholz, 2020,, ISSN 1661-3317