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Texts of Terror: Literary-Feminist Readings of Biblical Narratives (Overtures to Biblical Theology) Paperback – March 1, 1984

4.4 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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About the Author

Phyllis Trible is Baldwin Professor Emerita of Sacred Literature at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. The author of influential works such as "God and the Rhetoric of Sexuality" and "Texts of Terror: Literary-Feminist Readings of Biblical Narratives", Trible specializes in literary and rhetorical analysis of biblical texts from a feminist perspective.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Fortress Press (March 1, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800615379
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800615376
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.3 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #168,612 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Phillis Trible, a professor at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, is a noted authority on feminist interpretation and literary analysis of biblical stories of the Hebrew Scriptures/Old Testament. From the start of her career, Trible has addressed the topic of how gender and gender/sex relationships are represented in the bible. She looks for biblical themes that have a 'depatriarchalizing principle', which she admits is a relatively minor theme in the biblical texts.

However, this particular book, 'Texts of Terror', addresses the situation from a different view - these are stories in which women suffer tremendously under the weight of different kinds of patriarchal and male-dominated societal mores. Trible employs feminist critique and literary analysis to four particular stories - that of Hagar, Sarah's maid and mother of Ishmael; David's daughter Tamar; the daughter of Jephthah, sacrificed for her father's promise; and an unnamed concubine from Judges 19, who was brutalised in an astonishingly violent episode in the bible. These stories are offered up in way of a memoriam - the text has graphic openings with tombstones to each of the women, including an epitaph for each.

Trible offers her own translations of the Hebrew texts, translating as literally as possible in most instances. She goes into great detail, drawing out the contradictions and paradoxes in the stories, and makes every aspect important. These are sad stories, as Trible says, and they deserve honesty as they come to us.
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Format: Paperback
While this book was originally published several years ago, the stories it presents may be new to many, even to practicing Jews and Christians. When was the last time you heard a sermon on the rape of Tamar? Trible's readings of these stories may also be new to many readers. I was so engaged by her work on these difficult texts that I literally could not stop reading until I had finished the whole book. I especially found interesting her insightful word studies. But the most significant aspect of Trible's book is her "reclaiming" of these stories so that they can be used to motivate us to work actively for justice so that others are not victims of such terror.
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Format: Paperback
Two words, disturbing and brilliant, describe this book along with excellent exegesis applied through a feminist lens to the stories of four neglected women of the Bible. This should be required reading for every person in a position of church leadership and the lay person as well who deserves to be informed.

These stories are extremely tragic, but I found the Unnamed Woman (concubine) and the Daughter of Jephthah particularly upsetting. If you truly are devoted to the Bible and love the Good Book, you owe it to yourself to accept and deal with the violence and tragedy of it as well. Own it! Trible does this with her unique and profound insight that will not let you get away without rethinking these characters (because at times even the narrator (himself?) is in cahoots with the perpetrator/abuser). I like very much Trible's consistent methodology.

What I regret is why she didn't write more books! She has a skill and a voice that needs to be heard as she explores.

I must say also however that I agree with the quote in a prior review here that, "Trible does not communicate a sense of larger biblical patterns." I want to read more Trible! If in addition to four women she applied this to broader, Biblical patterns, yes this would be good!
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Format: Paperback
Phyllis Trible, a professor at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, is a noted authority on feminist interpretation and literary analysis of biblical stories of the Hebrew Scriptures/Old Testament. From the start of her career, Trible has addressed the topic of how gender and gender/sex relationships are represented in the bible. She looks for biblical themes that have a 'depatriarchalizing principle', which she admits is a relatively minor theme in the biblical texts.

However, this particular book, 'Texts of Terror', addresses the situation from a different view - these are stories in which women suffer tremendously under the weight of different kinds of patriarchal and male-dominated societal mores. Trible employs feminist critique and literary analysis to four particular stories - that of Hagar, Sarah's maid and mother of Ishmael; David's daughter Tamar; the daughter of Jephthah, sacrificed for her father's promise; and an unnamed concubine from Judges 19, who was brutalised in an astonishingly violent episode in the bible. These stories are offered up in way of a memoriam - the text has graphic openings with tombstones to each of the women, including an epitaph for each.

Trible offers her own translations of the Hebrew texts, translating as literally as possible in most instances. She goes into great detail, drawing out the contradictions and paradoxes in the stories, and makes every aspect important. These are sad stories, as Trible says, and they deserve honesty as they come to us.
Read more ›
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