RSK’s New Book and Paradigms of Gender Research

In a recent review at the Review of Biblical Literature, Gail Streete looks at Ross Shepard Kraemer‘s newest book, Unreliable Witnesses: Religion, Gender, and History in the Greco-Roman Mediterranean.  It is a fascinating take on how one of the foremost gender theorists working on Ancient Judaism has changed her views over the past few decades. In many ways, RSK’s (if you’ll pardon my French) evolution mirrors some of the debates still current among Talmudists, where feminists like Charlotte Fonrobert and, it seems to me, Daniel Boyarin, claim that female voices can be discovered in rabbinic works by reading closely for disturbances in the textual architecture, and scholars like Ishay Rosen-Zvi who have despaired of ever accomplishing such  “recoveries.”

In other reviewing news, Josh Lambert over at Tablet Magazine, lists a number of interesting recent and forthcoming publications on identity and conversion, including Matthew Thiessen’s Contesting Conversion: Genealogy, Circumcision and Identity in Ancient Judaism and Christianity, and an edited volume entitled Sacrifice, Scripture and Substitution: Readings in Ancient Judaism and Christianity. Also of some interest is Yoel Finkelman’s forthcoming book on Artscroll (scroll down).

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