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Wisdom Commentary: Luke 1–9

Barbara E. Reid, OP, and Shelly Matthews

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ISBN: 9780814681671, 8167
Details: 408 pgs, 6 X 9 x 1 3/8
Publication Date: 01/15/2021


Hardcover with Dust Jacket
In Stock | $49.95
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Because there are more women in the Gospel of Luke than in any other gospel, feminists have given it much attention. In this commentary, Shelly Matthews and Barbara Reid show that feminist analysis demands much more than counting the number of female characters. Feminist biblical interpretation examines how the female characters function in the narrative and also scrutinizes the workings of power with respect to empire, to anti-Judaism, and to other forms of othering. Matthews and Reid draw attention to the ambiguities of the text-both the liberative possibilities and the ways that Luke upholds the patriarchal status quo-and guide readers to empowering reading strategies.

Shelly Matthews holds a ThD from Harvard Divinity School and is professor of New Testament at Brite Divinity School, Fort Worth, Texas. She is the general editor for the SBL Press series Early Christianity and Its Literature and the cofounder and cochair of the SBL Program Unit Racism, Pedagogy and Biblical Studies. Her books include Perfect Martyr: The Stoning of Stephen and the Construction of Christian Identity (Oxford University Press, 2010) and The Acts of the Apostles: An Introduction and Study Guide: Taming the Tongues of Fire  (T&T Clark, 2017). She is currently writing a monograph under the working title A Feminist Guide to Early Christian Resurrection: Justice, Authority, Presence.

Barbara E. Reid, general editor of the Wisdom Commentary series, is a Dominican Sister of Grand Rapids, Michigan. She is the president of Catholic Theological Union and the first woman to hold the position. She has been a member of the CTU faculty since 1988 and also served as vice president and academic dean from 2009 to 2018. She holds a PhD in biblical studies from The Catholic University of America and was also president of the Catholic Biblical Association in 2014–2015. Her most recent publications are Wisdom’s Feast: An Invitation to Feminist Interpretation of the Scriptures (Eerdmans, 2016) and Abiding Word: Sunday Reflections on Year A, B, C (3 vols.; Liturgical Press, 2011, 2012, 2013).

"Many commentators have lifted up the Lukan narratives and themes as evidence that women's experiences are taken seriously in scripture. These authors do not dispute that, but they suggest that there are more questions than answers here, more ambiguity and variety than often acknowledged in these commonly used texts. It is a refreshing reality check."
Women's Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual (Water)

“This volume, co-authored by Barbara E. Reid, OP, and Shelly Matthews, is superbly done. The format follows previous publications in this series: a conversation between two primary scholars with diverse voices of scholars punctuating each section.

“The authors do an exceptional job breaking down Luke 1–9 into nine accessible, informative, and groundbreaking sections. What for me has always been the subject of exclusivist (as White, Western) scholarship, Luke has been made relevant by this multi-vocative work. Reid and Matthews, up against a text that has been used simultaneously to liberate and oppress, and which mentions the word ‘wisdom’ only a handful of times, shine with their inclusion of scholars of diverse experiences, social locations, disciplines, and methodologies. Additionally, with the adept guidance of Amy-Jill Levine (volume editor), Reid and Matthews address and explicate the often glossed-over anti-Jewish elements of Luke’s Gospel. The volume succeeds in making Luke 1–9 relevant not only for feminists, but for the myriad Christian communities throughout the world."

Teresa J. Hornsby, Affiliate Professor of Religious Studies, Chicago Theological Seminary

"Much of the commentary considers the importance of power rankings and the patriarchal dynamics of Greco-Roman culture, together with the apparent impact of this social context on Luke's perspective. Readers seeking a more standard theological and spiritual commentary on Luke may need to look elsewhere. This unique commentary series is intended as a serious exercise in feminist hermeneutics, a task it carries out with great consistency and clarity."
The Bible Today

“Another volume in the Wisdom Commentary series continues the high quality of the project. Many voices, representing different methods, approaches, and judgments, highlight the multiple ways in which feminist interpretation can flourish in some of the most fraught passages of the Gospel. The abundant resources for further study make this first book on Luke a treasure of promise to come in the second volume.”
Carolyn Osiek, RSCJ, Professor New Testament Emerita, Brite Divinity School

“How extraordinary that ‘the Gospel of Women’ has had to wait so long for a book-length feminist commentary! But this book, the first volume of what promises to be a monumental commentary, fills the gap magnificently. Barbara Reid and Shelly Matthews, together with their large and diverse cast of cameo contributors, manage to do justice to the knotty complexities of Luke’s representations of gender without sacrificing either accessibility or contemporary relevance.”
Stephen D. Moore, Edmund S. Janes Professor of New Testament Studies, The Theological School, Drew University

“This marvelous commentary is informative, eye-opening, and challenging. It shares an abundance of nourishing insights from national and international feminist biblical interpretation. It opens reader’s eyes, for example, to see both women and men shepherds in Luke 2 and to see the anointing lady of Luke 7:36-50 as neither a prostitute nor as Mary Magdalene. It warms the heart and frequently asks such troubling questions as: What are contemporary disciples going to do locally to alleviate food insecurity for the vulnerable as Jesus did in his day?”
Fr. Robert J. Karris, OFM, Professor Emeritus, St. Bonaventure University

“You think you know Luke’s gospel? Before you open this book, fasten your seat belt and expect turbulence. Sojourner Truth said the first woman ‘was strong enough to turn the world upside down.’ ‘Women together,’ she says ought to ‘get it right side up again.’ This commentary attempts to do so.”
Bonnie B. Thurston, author of Maverick Mark: The Untamed First Gospel