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date: 29 July 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The historical books let us grasp a complex world in which women made contributions beyond their sexuality as workers and leaders, even though many are presented as wives or mothers. We meet slaves, prostitutes, midwives, messengers, queens, ad hoc murderers of enemies, builders of cities and walls, cooks, diviners, prophetesses, and judges among others, with various degrees of support or disapproval. While in Joshua, Chronicles, and Ezra-Nehemiah they are mostly absent, in the other books their number is considerable. Considerable is also the degree of violence many of them suffered, whether with or without a king. The historical books not only limit recognition of female participation in diverse areas of public life, but also contribute to a biased ideology in which women are dangerous—especially religiously and sexually—to men. On the other hand, affirmation of strong women by feminist scholars has provided role models for new communities and contexts.

Keywords: women in religion, war, violence, labor, public life, domestic life

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