Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Gregory Robbins, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Alison Schofield, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Sarah Pessin


Eve, Feminism, Genesis, Jewish, Lilith


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.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Diana Carvalho


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

83 p.


Biblical studies, Women's studies, Judaic studies