Searching the Scriptures, Vol. 2: A Feminist Commentary by Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza

By Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza

Now in paperback, quantity 2 of this selection of writing through ladies is "a significant scholarly paintings" ("Daughters of Sarah"). "In Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza, feminist biblical students now have a dynamic and erudite chief. hugely recommended".--"Library Journal".

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Traditional exegesis has not succeeded in reaching a consensus about the meaning of Sophia in these writings or in the religious symbol system of postexilic Israel, because the figure of Wisdom is difficult to reconcile with the patriarchal concepts of a monotheistic religion. Although studies in the history of religions have repeatedly emphasized the influence of Egyptian and Hellenistic goddesses on the figure of Sophia, as soon as the discussion turned to her importance within Israel and her theological meaning very little attention was paid to her femaleness.

Research on the book of Wisdom has repeatedly postulated connections with the Therapeutrides. In fact, there are points of contact in the structure and content of both writings that cannot be peripheral or accidental. Philo contrasts the Therapeutae and Therapeutrides with other (pagan) groups who worship the elements, the stars, demigods, statues, or animals (Vit. cant. 3-9). This distinction has repeated parallels, especially in the third section of the book of Wisdom (chaps. 12-15), which attacks various forms of false knowledge and worship of God as well as idol worship ..

She is the "wholly other," yet she makes herself known. The authors of the work dared to think of Sophia within the horizons of the imagery of the goddess Isis, who promises salvation because she stands above the powers of destiny. The message of Wisdom is as current today as it was then: it is a program against fatalism and necrophilia, a challenge to love all living things as God loves and an expression of confidence that God, together with the whole universe, intervenes against the powers of death.

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