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Bad Girls of the Bible. Dr. Susan M. Shaw Oregon State University. Session One: Bad Girls and the Bible. Women and the Bible.

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Bad girls of the bible

Bad Girls of the Bible

Dr. Susan M. Shaw

Oregon State University




(1843-1921), Bible student and author, born in Lenawee County, Michigan, reared in Wilson County, Tennessee, and privately educated. Fought in the Civil War from 1861-1865 under General Lee, his distinguished service earning him the Confederate Cross of Honor. Admitted to the Kansas bar in 1869, elected to the Kansas House of Representatives where he served for one year. President Grant appointed him United States Attorney for Kansas in 1873. Worked as a lawyer in Kansas and Missouri from 1869 to 1882. Converted at 36, he was ordained to the Congregational ministry in 1882, and served as pastor of the First Church, Dallas, Texas (1882-1895), and again (1902-1907); and of the Moody Church, Northfield, Massachusetts (1895-1902). Later years were spent lecturing on biblical subjects on both sides of the Atlantic. The work for which he is best remembered is his 1909 dispensational premillenial Scofield Reference Bible."


Rudolph Bultmann County, Michigan, reared in Wilson County, Tennessee, and privately educated. Fought in the Civil War from 1861-1865 under General Lee, his distinguished service earning him the Confederate Cross of Honor. Admitted to the Kansas bar in 1869, elected to the Kansas House of Representatives where he served for one year. President Grant appointed him United States Attorney for Kansas in 1873. Worked as a lawyer in Kansas and Missouri from 1869 to 1882. Converted at 36, he was ordained to the Congregational ministry in 1882, and served as pastor of the First Church, Dallas, Texas (1882-1895), and again (1902-1907); and of the Moody Church, Northfield, Massachusetts (1895-1902). Later years were spent lecturing on biblical subjects on both sides of the Atlantic. The work for which he is best remembered is his 1909 dispensational premillenial Scofield Reference Bible."

(1884-1976) was a German theologian and scholar in New Testament studies who, due to his research, concluded that nothing could reliably concluded about the historicity of the gospel stories of Jesus. As a result of this, and of his adoption existentialist ideas, he argued that Christianity must be "demythologized." By this he meant that non-historical, mythological additions must be abandoned so that Christianity can be reduced to some historical, genuine core.


Elizabeth Achtemeier County, Michigan, reared in Wilson County, Tennessee, and privately educated. Fought in the Civil War from 1861-1865 under General Lee, his distinguished service earning him the Confederate Cross of Honor. Admitted to the Kansas bar in 1869, elected to the Kansas House of Representatives where he served for one year. President Grant appointed him United States Attorney for Kansas in 1873. Worked as a lawyer in Kansas and Missouri from 1869 to 1882. Converted at 36, he was ordained to the Congregational ministry in 1882, and served as pastor of the First Church, Dallas, Texas (1882-1895), and again (1902-1907); and of the Moody Church, Northfield, Massachusetts (1895-1902). Later years were spent lecturing on biblical subjects on both sides of the Atlantic. The work for which he is best remembered is his 1909 dispensational premillenial Scofield Reference Bible."

Well known throughout the United States and Canada as a preacher, lecturer, and writer, Elizabeth Achtemeier is an ordained minister of the Presbyterian Church (USA) and adjunct professor of Bible and Homiletics at Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, VA. Dr. Achtemeier is the author of 20 books, including her two most recent publications, The Old Testament Roots of Our Faith, co-authored with husband, Dr. Paul J. Achtemeier, and Not My Own: Abortion and the Marks of the Church, co-authored with Terry Schlossberg of Presbyterians Pro-Life. Dr. Achtemeier will explore our society's theological relativism and loss of biblical authority, the feminist rejection of the Scriptures and its result, and the response that the church should make to such problems.


Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza County, Michigan, reared in Wilson County, Tennessee, and privately educated. Fought in the Civil War from 1861-1865 under General Lee, his distinguished service earning him the Confederate Cross of Honor. Admitted to the Kansas bar in 1869, elected to the Kansas House of Representatives where he served for one year. President Grant appointed him United States Attorney for Kansas in 1873. Worked as a lawyer in Kansas and Missouri from 1869 to 1882. Converted at 36, he was ordained to the Congregational ministry in 1882, and served as pastor of the First Church, Dallas, Texas (1882-1895), and again (1902-1907); and of the Moody Church, Northfield, Massachusetts (1895-1902). Later years were spent lecturing on biblical subjects on both sides of the Atlantic. The work for which he is best remembered is his 1909 dispensational premillenial Scofield Reference Bible."

Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza is internationally recognizedfor her pioneering work in biblical interpretation and feminist theology and feminist studies in religion. She has taught at the University of Notre Dame, Episcopal Divinity School, Union Theological Seminary, Humboldt University in Berlin and the Universities of Tübingen and Heidelberg. Her teaching and research focuses on questions of biblical and theological epistemology, hermeneutics, rhetoric, and the politics of interpretation, as well as on issues of theological education, radical equality, and democracy. She is a co-founder and the editor of the Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion and a co-editor of Feminist Theology, Concilium. She was elected as the first woman president of the Society of Biblical Literature and has served on the editorial boards of the major biblical journals and societies.


Delores S. Williams County, Michigan, reared in Wilson County, Tennessee, and privately educated. Fought in the Civil War from 1861-1865 under General Lee, his distinguished service earning him the Confederate Cross of Honor. Admitted to the Kansas bar in 1869, elected to the Kansas House of Representatives where he served for one year. President Grant appointed him United States Attorney for Kansas in 1873. Worked as a lawyer in Kansas and Missouri from 1869 to 1882. Converted at 36, he was ordained to the Congregational ministry in 1882, and served as pastor of the First Church, Dallas, Texas (1882-1895), and again (1902-1907); and of the Moody Church, Northfield, Massachusetts (1895-1902). Later years were spent lecturing on biblical subjects on both sides of the Atlantic. The work for which he is best remembered is his 1909 dispensational premillenial Scofield Reference Bible."

Delores Williams is Paul Tillich Professor of Theology and Culture at Union Theological Seminary. She graduated in 1965 from the University of Louisville with the B.A. She holds the M.A. from Columbia University and the Ph.D. from Union Theological Seminary (1991). Her research and teaching focus on the emergence of womanist theology in addition to religion and popular culture.


Mary Daly is a radical feminist professor at Boston College. Author of seven Radical Feminist books including Beyond God The Father and Gyn/Ecology: The Metaethics of Radical Feminism. She is a Positively Revolting Hag who holds doctorates in theology and philosophy from the University of Fribourg, Switzerland. This Spinster spins and weaves cosmic tapestries in her own time/space.

Mary Daly


Session two understanding the bad girls
Session Two: Understanding the Bad Girls Author of seven Radical Feminist books including


Who are the bad girls of the bible
Who are the Bad Girls of the Bible? Author of seven Radical Feminist books including


What makes a bad girl of the bible
What Makes a Bad Girl of the Bible? Author of seven Radical Feminist books including

  • Troubling stories

    • Stories of betrayal, exploitation, objectification, sexualization, sacrifice

    • God’s role is often troubling

      • Miriam’s leprosy

      • Sacrifice of ???’s daughter

  • Women on the margins

    • Usually women’s stories are embedded in larger narratives about men

    • Little information is given about these women

    • Women in scripture are often nameless


  • Patriarchal culture Author of seven Radical Feminist books including

    • The Bible was written by men, primarily for men, within a patriarchal culture

  • Larger themes

    • Justice, freedom, love

    • Social structures and systems, power and privilege

    • Ways women participate in their own oppression

  • Reading from the margins

    • Feminist biblical interpretation

      • Moves women to the center

      • Interprets from women’s experiences

      • Names places where the Bible itself is oppressive and the ways throughout history the Bible has been used to oppress women

      • Identifies the ways the gospel has been liberating for women and seeks to bring those to bear in the church and society


Describing the bad girls
Describing the Bad Girls Author of seven Radical Feminist books including

  • Find your “bad girl” cousins.

  • Have someone read your character’s story in the Bible aloud. Try to listen to the story as if this is the first time you’ve heard it. Listen for new insights, for things you may not have noticed before.

  • Discuss with your group your reactions to the story.

  • On your post-it, record your answers to the following:

    • How has your “bad girl” typically been described?

    • How has your character’s story been used to marginalize, subordinate, control, or silence women?

    • What positive characteristics does your character exhibit?

    • What can we learn from your character about challenging social structures and mores that constrain us?


The Susie Jessy Raphael Show Author of seven Radical Feminist books including

Susie

Starring Susie Jessy Raphael

Today’s Show: Dysfunctional Biblical Families


Session three reclaiming our own bad selves
Session Three: Reclaiming Our Own Bad Selves Author of seven Radical Feminist books including


Retelling the stories of bad girls
Retelling the Stories of Bad Girls Author of seven Radical Feminist books including

  • With your cousins, rewrite the story of your character from her perspective. Have your “bad girl” tell the story.


Questions for small group discussion
Questions for Small Group Discussion Author of seven Radical Feminist books including

In your cousin group, discuss the questions provided about your “bad girl.”

Questions from: Barbara J. Essex, Bad Girls of the Bible: Exploring Women of Questionable Virtue. Cleveland: United Church Press, 1999.


Questions for Discussion: Author of seven Radical Feminist books including In what ways does our contemporary culture use the notion of “bad girls” to control and subordinate women?



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