Women’s religious life (Iron Age Israel)

Authored by: Carol Meyers

Women in Antiquity

Print publication date:  August  2016
Online publication date:  August  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138808362
eBook ISBN: 9781315621425
Adobe ISBN: 9781317219910

10.4324/9781315621425.ch36

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Abstract

The foundational role of the Bible in Jewish and Christian tradition means that people today often turn to the Bible for information about religious beliefs and practices. Women especially, as they strive to redress the imbalances in religious roles available to them, are interested in the religious lives of their biblical foremothers. Were Israelite women restricted in the ways the Bible seems to imply? Was religiosity a feature of their daily lives? People seek answers to these and similar questions. Despite the disparities between the life conditions and religious modes of biblical antiquity and contemporary ones, investigating the religious activities of Israelite women can be meaningful. Whether or not the religious dynamics of ancient Israelite women can model women’s religious life today, the very process of bringing this aspect of their lives to light is an important part of the larger feminist task of recovering women’s roles in past societies.

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