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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: 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).