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Warrior, Dancer, Seductress, Queen: Women in Judges and Biblical Israel (The Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library) Hardcover – November 10, 1998

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Ackerman (a professor of religion at Dartmouth) explores the "remarkable assembly of women... and the multitude of roles they play" in the book of Judges. She identifies in Judges six "types" of women's roles that, she asserts, illuminate not only Hebrew Scripture but a breathtaking range of ancient Near Eastern literature that includes Homer and Christian scripture. Each chapter considers one "type," identified with one or more characters who play an identifiable role in Judges. Deborah and Jael, Israel's two great women warriors, play the role of the "military hero" as well as the priestly role of "cult specialist." The role of the queen mother is represented by the mother of Sisera, the commander defeated by Deborah and Jael. Manoh's wife (Samson's mother) fills the more "powerless" role of mothers, wives and daughters in waiting. The largely autonomous role of the prostitute is represented by Delilah, and the daughters of Shiloh represent the role of the "maidens abducted while dancing." Ackerman deftly weaves together literary criticism and historical analysis, and her discussion of one role illuminates the discussion of another. Particularly enlightening is Ackerman's application of literary forms associated with the Canaanite goddesses Anat and Asherah to stories of biblical women warriors and queen mothers ranging from Judith and Jezebel to Mary. This accessible work could reach a broad audience interested in becoming acquainted with the richly textured character of biblical literature.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

Some of the Bible's most memorable characters are the women in the book of Judges. From Deborah and Jael to Delilah and Samson's mother, these women led the Israelites in battle, used their wits to defeat the enemy, their wiles to seduce mighty men, and their wisdom to prevail on God. In Warrior, Dancer, Seductress, Queen author Susan Ackerman offers a keen analysis of the main types of women found in Judges and examines other biblical books and ancient Near Eastern literature to demonstrate how these types recur elsewhere. Thorough yet entertaining, her study leaves readers with an understanding of what roles these women played in Israelite society and religion. The first female author to be published in the Anchor Bible Reference Library, Ackerman and her cutting-edge biblical scholarship will be a valuable addition to this venerable series. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Series: The Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press; 1 edition (November 10, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300140851
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300140859
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.8 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,533,308 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Mike Jones on December 17, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Reading this work by Ackerman opened a whole new world to me: the rich variety of women in the Book of Judges. I must admit that I had never really noticed before that almost all of the women in Genesis and in Exodus acted mainly to preserve the life of a male or the continuation of a male lineage. (For example, all those wonderful women in the early chapters of Exodus - Shiphrah, Puah, Miriam, Jochebed, the daughter of the king - were trying to save the life of Moses). But in Judges we encounter a feast of women of all sorts of different types. I must also confess that at times I found Ackerman's interpretations very challenging - both intellectually and spiritually, but the benefits gained by reading this book were worth the challenges.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Peter LaPrade on December 31, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Susan Ackerman's study of the book of Judges in a feminist light does offer some interesting angles on the familiar(Samson) and the not-so familiar(the shrewd wife that managed the land well). But most of this book was just dry, dense academia that did not capture me. The literary equivilent of fiber; good to read, hard to digest.
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