This volume, using multiple methods, seeks to bring together the best scholarship and insight-Jewish and Christian, past and present-that has contributed to our understanding and appreciation of the biblical book of Ruth. As a feminist commentary, it is particularly sensitive to issues of relationship and inclusion, power and agency. In addition to the voices of the primary co-authors, Alice Laffey and Mahri Leonard-Fleckman, the volume incorporates and integrates important contributing voices from diverse contemporary social contexts and geographical locations. In sum, the commentary seeks to allow Ruth, Naomi, and Boaz to speak again for the first time.
Alice L. Laffey (1944-2023) taught the Old Testament for thirty-five years at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, before retiring in May 2016. She was the author of many articles as well as Introduction to the Old Testament: A Feminist Perspective (Fortress, 1988), Appreciating God's Creation through Scripture (Paulist, 1997), The Pentateuch: A Liberation-Critical Reading (Fortress, 1998), and 1-2 Kings in the New Collegeville Bible Commentary series (Liturgical Press, 2012).
Mahri Leonard-Fleckman is assistant professor of Hebrew Bible in the Theology Department at Providence College (Providence, RI). She earned her PhD in 2014 from New York University in Hebrew and Judaic Studies, with a focus on Hebrew Bible and ancient Near Eastern Studies. Before coming to Providence College, Leonard-Fleckman was an assistant professor in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Scranton (Scranton, PA).