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Baruch and the Letter of Jeremiah are among the so-called deuterocanonical books of the Bible, part of the larger Catholic biblical canon. Except for a short article in the Women's Bible Commentary, no detailed or comprehensive feminist commentary on these books is available so far. Marie-Theres Wacker reads both books with an approach that is sensitive to gender and identity issues. The book of Baruch—with its reflections on guilt of the fathers, with its transformation of wisdom into the Book of God's commandments, and with its strong symbol of mother and queen Jerusalem—offers a new and creative digest of Torah, writings, and prophets but seems to address primarily learned men. The so-called Letter of Jeremiah is an impressive document that unmasks pseudo-deities but at the same draws sharp lines between the group's identity and the "others," using women of the "others" as boundary markers.
Marie-Theres Wacker is professor of Old Testament and women's research at the Faculty of Catholic Theology, University of Muenster, Germany. She is director of the Seminar for Old Testament Exegesis and runs a research unit for gender studies in theology. Her fields of teaching, research, and publication include feminist biblical hermeneutics, biblical monotheism, early Jewish writings from Hellenistic times, and reception history of the Bible. Together with Luise Schottroff, she edited Feminist Biblical Interpretation: A Compendium, a feminist commentary on the Christian Bible and selected noncanonical writings.