March 29: Rebecca’s World: The Everyday Life of Biblical Women
Beth A. Nakhai, Ph.D., Assistant Director, Committee on Judaic Studies, University of Arizona, will use slides to present the day-to day lives of Old Testament women. Until recently, the only resource available for reconstructing these women’s lives was the Old Testament/Hebrew Scriptures. Now, after more than a century of archaeological excavations in Israel and surrounding lands, more is known about the home life, daily tasks, religion, and reproduction of women who lived between 1200 and 587 BCE.
April 5: All about Eve: The Latest Word on the First Lady
Carol Meyers, Ph.D., Mary Grace Wilson Professor of Religion, Duke University, will review early portrayals of the Eden tale and then explore the results of current research. This lecture will highlight traditional interpretations, many of which cast Eve in a negative light. Professor Meyers will describe new approaches, which pay careful attention to the text itself as well as to its ancient context, providing enhanced understanding of this foundational tale.
April 12: Wise and Strange: Women in Biblical Wisdom Literature
Claudia V. Camp, Ph.D., Professor of Religion, Texas Christian University, will look at the book of Proverbs, where we find Woman Wisdom, the most elevated female portrait in the Hebrew Scriptures, and her evil twin, the Strange Woman. What is the significance of these figures in the ancient context? Do they develop in the later Wisdom literature of Ecclesiasticus and the Wisdom of Solomon? What role do they play in religious thought today?
April 19: Sights and Sounds of Mary Magdalen
Deirdre Good, Th.D., Professor of New Testament, General Theological Seminary of New York, will use oral traditions embedded in texts and music to explore evidence about Mary Magdalen as apostle, prophet, and visionary from the period of Christian origins. We will use the gospels of the New Testament, together with the gospels of Thomas, Philip, and Mary. Can we evaluate these ancient traditions against portraits of Mary Magdalen in modern writings like The DaVinci Code or Mary, Called Magdalene? Professor Good is the author of Mariam, the Magdalen, and the Mother (Indiana University Press, 2005).
April 26: Good News? Jesus’ Interactions with Women in the Early Gospels
Ross Kraemer, Ph.D., Professor of Religious Studies, Brown University, will look at narratives in early Christian gospels that depict Jesus’ interactions with women (the so-called “Canaanite”/“Syro-Phoenician” woman; Mary and Martha of Bethany; the hemorrhaging woman, and others), and inquire whether these narratives suggest that Jesus’ interactions with women might have been unusual for a man of his cultural context.