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date: 17 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Women in the ancient world have been presented by biblical writers and understood by later interpreters as either “good” or “bad” depending on how well they followed patriarchal rule. Women who claimed their own autonomy and made decisions that benefited themselves or their loved ones, despite patriarchal hegemony, were viewed as “stepping out of their place.” However, this claiming of full personhood, of rejecting or resisting male superiority should be understood as female agency. This article examines, reimagines, and celebrates female agency in New Testament texts from a womanist perspective and encourages contemporary interpreters to do the same.

Keywords: African American agency, female agency, hair, household code, New Testament, patriarchy, prophecy, prophet, womanism, womanist hermeneutics

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