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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Daring, Disreputable and Devout: Interpreting the Hebrew Bible's Women in the Arts and Music
Clanton Jr., Dan W.

New York: T&T Clark, 2009 pp. x + 198. $75.00


Description: Stories of women in the Bible have been interpreted by artists, writers, musicians, filmmakers, and biblical commentators for centuries. However, in many cases, these later interpreters have often adapted and altered the Bible to fit their own view(s) of the stories. Ironically, these later renderings usually serve as the basis for the generally accepted view(s) of biblical women. For example, many readers of the Bible assume that Eve is to blame for the disobedient act in the Garden of Eden, or that Delilah seduced Samson and then cut his hair. A closer look at these assumptions, though, reveals that they are not based on the Bible, but are mediated through the creations of later interpreters. In this book, the author examines eight such women's stories, and shows how later readers interact with the biblical stories to construct sometimes fanciful, sometimes faulty views of these women. Dan Clanton, Jr. broadens our awareness of the influence of these later readings on how we understand biblical women so that we can be more critical in our engagement with them, and become more familiar with what the Bible actually says about the women whose stories it contains.

Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Literature, Methods, Historical Approaches, History, History of Interpretation

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Review by Dorothea Erbele-Küster
Published 5/15/2010
Citation: Dorothea Erbele-Küster, review of Dan W. Clanton Jr., Daring, Disreputable and Devout: Interpreting the Hebrew Bible's Women in the Arts and Music, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2010).


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