This course explores the relationship between issues of gender, justice and empire in Old Testament interpretation. Through a study of a number of Old Testament texts, particularly those which narrate the experience of women within the wider social and imperial contexts, we will consider how these themes are configured and related within biblical traditions. We will engage in a close reading of a range of primary Old Testament texts and contemporary feminist/womanist and other (culturally diverse) scholarship about these texts and will also examine how these hermeneutical perspectives engage and critique traditional exegetical approaches. The approach will be interdisciplinary and will provide students opportunity to study these texts alongside contemporary women’s experiences and portrayals of women in other media such as art, film, poetry, and law.

Unit code: BA2040P

Unit status: Archived (New unit)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 2

Unit discipline: Old Testament

Proposing College: Pilgrim Theological College

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Learning outcomes


Demonstrate familiarity with the Old Testament narratives of Biblical women and knowledge of relevant issues of gender, justice and empire in relation to these texts and the Old Testament overall


Recognize the liberational and the oppressive potential of biblical stories


Understand, and appreciate these new and emerging approaches, namely feminist/womanist; postcolonial; liberation; and Dalit perspectives and use them in their interpretation of biblical texts.

Unit sequence

15 points in Old Testament studies


Lectures; Exercises; Seminars, Tutorials

Indicative Bibliography

  • Davies, Eryl W. The Dissenting Reader: Feminist Approaches to the Hebrew Bible, Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2003. (Recommended for purchase)
  • Dube, Musa W. Postcolonial Feminist Interpretation of the Bible, St. Louis, MO: Chalice, 2000.
  • Fewell, Danna N., and Gunn, David M. Gender, Power and Promise: The Subject of the Bible’s First Story. Nashville: Abingdon, 1993.
  • Day, Linda and Pressler, Carolyn (eds.), Engaging the Bible in a Gendered World: An Introduction to Feminist Biblical Interpretation in honor of K. B. Sakenfeld. Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Know, 2006. (Recommended for purchase)
  • Havea, Jione, David J. Neville, & Elaine M. Cartwright, eds. Bible, Borders, Belonging(s): Engaging Readings from Oceania. Atlanta: SBL, 2014.
  • Newsome, Carol A. and Sharon H. Ringe, (eds.), The Women’s Bible Commentary (Expanded), London/Louisville: SPCK/Westminster John Knox, 1998.
  • Patte, Daniel. The Global Bible Commentary, Nashville: Abingdon, 2004.
  • Roncace, Mark and Joseph Weaver (eds.), Global Perspectives on the Bible. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 2012. (Recommended for purchase)
  • Adam, A. K. M. (ed.), Handbook of Postmodern Biblical Interpretation. St. Louis: Chalice, 2000.
  • West, Gerald, ed. Reading Otherwise: Socially Engaged Biblical Scholars Reading with their Local Communities. Atlanta: SBL. 2007


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

Short Essay on Reading Material (500 Words)

0 20.0

Exegetical Essay based on student class presentation (2000 words)

0 40.0

Essay exploring a particular hermeneutical approach to an OT text (2000 words)

0 40.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 1 Nov, 2015

Unit record last updated: 2022-10-04 13:26:15 +1100