Date of Award

1-1-2009

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Department

Religious Studies

First Advisor

Gregory Robbins

Second Advisor

Alison Schofield

Keywords

Eve, Feminism, Genesis, Jewish, Lilith

Abstract

Throughout the religious history of American feminism, Jewish feminist biblical interpretation shifted attention away from Eve as a viable example of women's identities. Instead, Lilith, the independent, "demon" and "first wife" of Adam is praised as a symbol of female sexuality for "Transformationist" Jewish feminists. Re-claiming Lilith as the "first Eve," "Transformationist" Jewish feminists turn scripture on its head. Eve's creation and her actions in Genesis are interpreted as a product of patriarchy and male dominance, while Lilith in the midrashic narrative, the Alphabet of Ben Sira, is used by Jewish feminists to reclaim their identities on religious and spiritual levels.

This thesis explores the history of "Transformationist" Jewish feminism to understand the methods by which scripture is interpreted, and ultimately arrive at new working interpretations of Genesis 1-3 andThe Alphabet of Ben Sira. This thesis' significance lies in an exploration of Jewish feminism's ability to cross religious and gender boundaries.

Provenance

Recieved from ProQuest

Rights holder

Diana Carvalho

File size

83 p.

File format

application/pdf

Language

en

Discipline

Biblical studies, Women's studies, Judaic studies

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