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Liturgical Press

Women Who Wrestled with God

Biblical Stories of Israel's Beginning

Irmtraud Fischer; translated from the second German edition into English by Linda M. Maloney

Women Who Wrestled with God
Women Who Wrestled with God

ISBN: 9780814651605, 5160

Details: 160 pgs, 6 x 9
Publication Date: 03/01/2005
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Israel's story as a people of God is a tale of women, men, and their children. Moving past a patriarchal reading of the Bible, Fischer presents a new interpretation of neglected biblical narratives. From a gender-balanced perspective, she reveals the political dimension and narrative continuation of ancestral stories in the Book of Ruth. Women Who Wrestled with God demonstrates the significance of women in religious history in a way that will inspire as well as inform.

Chapters are: "The 'Fathers' and the Beginnings of the People– An Introduction to Israel's Ancestor's," "Sarah, Hagar, and Abraham: Scenes From a Marriage Under the Promise, " "Rebecca: A Strong Woman With a Colorless Husband," "Rachel and Leah: The Founders of the House of Israel," "Dark Sides of the Family Chronicle," "Subversive Women at the Beginnings of the People in Egypt," "Naomi and Ruth: The Unconventional Women Ancestors of the Royal House of David," and "Women Who Wrestled with God."

Irmtraud Fischer is professor of Old Testament and women's studies (theology) at the University of Bonn, as well as chair of Old Testament studies at the University of Graz, Austria. President of the European Society for Women's Research in Theology, Fischer was given the 2003 Bad Herrenalber Akademie Preis.

ISBN: 9780814651605, 5160

Details: 160 pgs, 6 x 9
Publication Date: 03/01/2005


Fischer effectively shows that the biblical text embodies a tension between authors and redactors who were sympathetic toward the women in these ancient stories and others whose work perpetuates an andocentric and patriarchal perspective. This reviewer highly recommends this book for anyone interested in the history of Israel's origins.
Journal of Hebrew Scriptures

. . . demonstrates the significance of women in the biblical story as well as the scholarly neglect of their presence and activity.
The Catholic Biblical Quarterly

The goal of gender-fair scholarship is to remind all the people of God-women and men-that God speaks to, intercedes for, challenges, and works through everyone. Fisher's scholarship does just that. She reminds preachers and teachers of the faith that the Scriptures are filled with the stories of valiant, faithful women who sought to do God's will, who struggled to save their families and their people. This new edition of Fisher's work will be an excellent addition to the church's bookshelf.
Pastoral Music

The book is important not only for feminist gender studies but also for anyone who wishes to learn more about the influential women found in the biblical stories of Israel's beginnings.
Catholic Book Review

The book highlights issues that touch the women in the narratives very differently than they do the men. This approach will appeal to students of both biblical and women's studies.
The Bible Today

The content is an absorbing blend of literary criticism, history and theology. It is most engaging when looking at women about whom there is not much commentary, especially an extensive and interesting section on the rape of Dinah. The book brings these biblical women vibrantly alive for readers and should enhance the reading of Scripture for Jew and Christian alike.