Troubling Women and Land: Reading Biblical Texts in Aotearoa New Zealand
What do women have to do with land? Biblical women such as Rahab, Achsah, and the daughters of Zelophehad have a great deal to do with Israel’s land concerns, and their roles are indeed found troubling.
What do women have to do with land? Biblical women such as Rahab, Achsah, and the daughters of Zelophehad have a great deal to do with Israel’s land concerns, and their roles are indeed found troubling. And there are also questions to be asked of Miriam’s role in the move from Egypt towards the ‘promised’ land; of Deborah, involved in a battle with a Canaanite commander; and of Huldah, whose troubling role in Josiah’s reform is exposed in a queer-critical reading.
Reading such land-focused narratives from the context of Aotearoa New Zealand brings to the surface disturbing connections with that country’s own quite particular experience of colonialism. Such findings call for feminist postcolonial scrutiny. Here, in response, the critical scope is widened by reading these texts contrapuntally with others concerning New Zealand’s colonial and postcolonial experiences, both past and present.
Troubling Women and Land has a personal edge, with the author’s voice frequently intruding, without apology, sometimes even holding imaginary conversations with characters and scholars, complementing the use of more traditional critical approaches. What underlies the book is a conviction that reading biblical texts matters in the politics of today’s world.
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1. Miriam under Interrogation . . . But What if . . . ? 2. Slipping across Borders and Bordering on Conquest: A Contrapuntal Reading of Numbers 13 3. Playing an Aotearoa Counterpoint: The Daughters of Zelophehad and Edward Gibbon Wakefield 4. Meeting Achsah on Achsah’s Land 5. Conversations with Deborah 6. Rahab Reviewed 7. Through a Window: A Postcolonialist Reading of Michal 8. Gazing at Huldah 9. Filling the Gaps and Putting Huldah to Use
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