Hundreds of women studied and interpreted the Bible between the years 100–2000 CE, but their stories have remained largely untold. In this book, Schroeder and Taylor introduce readers to the notable contributions of female commentators through the centuries. They unearth fascinating accounts of Jewish and Christian women from diverse communities—rabbinic experts, nuns, mothers, mystics, preachers, teachers, suffragists, and household managers—who interpreted Scripture through their writings. This book recounts the struggles and achievements of women who gained access to education and biblical texts. It tells the story of how their interpretive writings were preserved or, all too often, lost. It also explores how, in many cases, women interpreted Scripture differently from the men of their times. Consequently, Voices Long Silenced makes an important, new contribution to biblical reception history. This book focuses on women’s written words and briefly comments on women’s interpretation in media, such as music, visual arts, and textile arts. It includes short, representative excerpts from diverse women’s own writings that demonstrate noteworthy engagement with Scripture.Voices Long Silencedcalls on scholars and religious communities to recognize the contributions of women, past and present, who interpreted Scripture, preached, taught, and exercised a wide variety of ministries in churches and synagogues.
“Schroeder and Taylor offer a far-reaching, informative, and inclusive crash course on one of the most tragically forgotten threads in Christian history—particularly the history of theology and of biblical interpretation. Their work is a valuable and welcome gift for the many of us—men and women—who struggle to correct the truncated view of history that is our common heritage. They not only show how truncated that view is but also provide tools to correct it.”—Justo L. González, church historian and author of The Story of Christianity and A History of Early Christian Literature
“Obstacles to the full participation of women in biblical interpretation have been many, but Schroeder and Taylor show the vigor and imagination with which women have met those obstacles. Ranging across two millennia and a staggering array of sources,Voices Long Silencedinstructs, provokes, delights, and even comforts. This is a must-read book.” —Beverly Roberts Gaventa, Helen H. P. Manson Professor Emerita of New Testament Literature and Exegesis, Princeton Theological Seminary
"This is the kind of book that will bring out the emotion in the most apathetic among us. To inspire the next generation by not only claiming, but also showing for hundreds of pages in a row the transformative power of serious scholarly work is no small feat. You aimed to “connect readers with a lost tradition of women’s interpretation.” You’ve succeeded. By doing so, you’ve given us cause to celebrate and called us to join the continuing work of recovering and amplifying “I am awestruck by this unique book. Spanning centuries from antiquity to today, it features female scriptural interpreters from across the globe from different denominational, class, cultural, racial, and ethnic backgrounds. Joining them, the reader sojourns through history, learning the names and work of the interpreters, the historical and political contexts in which they operated, the methods they used to interpret, and why it is essential for us to engage their work if we truly desire a faithful rendering of our religious history. I cannot overstate the importance of this book or how rewarding it is to read—not a single wasted word.” —Jaime Clark-Soles, Professor of New Testament and Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor, Perkins School of Theology
“Joy A. Schroeder and Marion Ann Taylor have gifted us with a long survey of women’s biblical interpretation from late antiquity to the present moment. They demonstrate that ‘women have been interpreting Scripture as long as men.’ This volume presents the writings of diverse Christian and Jewish multiethnic women. It is an extraordinary collection and will be invaluable in the classroom. I look forward to teaching it.” —Wil Gafney, The Right Rev. Sam B. Hulsey Professor of Hebrew Bible, Brite Divinity School