This unit 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: BA3040P

Unit status: Approved (Major revision)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 3

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


Develop knowledge of relevant issues of gender, justice and empire in relation to these texts and the Old Testament overall.


Understand, appreciate and critically engage these new and emerging feminist approaches in their treatment of biblical texts


Develop a comparative and global framework and foster appreciation and respect for other/diverse perspectives.


Articulate the liberational and the oppressive potential of biblical stories

Unit sequence

A prerequisite is a foundational unit in the Hebrew Bible


Assigned readings; Lectures; Tutorials

Indicative Bibliography

  1. Blyth, Caroline. Emily Colgan, and Katie B. Edwards, (eds). Rape Culture, Gender Violence, & Religion: Biblical Perspectives. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018.
  2. Claassens, Juliana L. Writing and Reading to Survive: Biblical and Contemporary Trauma Narratives in Conversation. Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix, 2020.
  3. Claassens, Juliana L., and Carolyn J. Sharp, (eds). Feminist Frameworks and the Bible: Power, Ambiguity and Intersectionality. London: t&t Clark, 2017.
  4. Davies, Eryl W. The Dissenting Reader: Feminist Approaches to the Hebrew Bible. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2003.
  5. Fewell, Danna N., and Gunn, David M. Gender, Power and Promise: The Subject of the Bible’s First Story. Nashville: Abingdon, 1993.
  6. 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.
  7. Havea, Jione, David J. Neville, & Elaine M. Cartwright, (eds). Bible, Borders, Belonging(s): Engaging Readings from Oceania. Atlanta: SBL, 2014.
  8. Newsome, Carol A., Sharon H. Ringe, and Jacqueline E. lapsley (eds). The Women’s Bible Commentary, (Third edition), Twentieth Anniversary Edition. Revised and Expanded. London/Louisville: SPCK/Westminster John Knox, 2012.
  9. Roncace, Mark and Joseph Weaver (eds.). Global Perspectives on the Bible. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 2012.
  10. West, Gerald, ed. Reading Otherwise: Socially Engaged Biblical Scholars Reading with their Local Communities. Atlanta: SBL. 2007.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Essay - Essay on Reading Material

Essay on Reading Material (2000 Words)

2000 30.0
Exegetical Essay - Exegetical Essay

Exegetical Essay – 3000 words

3000 70.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Maggie Kappelhoff on 21 Sep, 2021

Unit record last updated: 2021-09-21 18:54:13 +1000