Religion, Gender, and the Liberation of Bodies

A Response to Roland Boer, The Sacred Economy of Ancient Israel (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2015)

In: Horizons in Biblical Theology
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  • 1 Department of Philosophy, University of Wisconsin—Stevens Point, Stevens Point, wi 54481, USA

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This response to Roland Boer’s Sacred Economy of Ancient Israel focuses on the categories of religion and gender and how these relate to the issues of power politics and economic oppression in ancient Israel which Boer explores in detail. Concerning religion, Boer’s use of a Braudelian frame for reconstruction ancient Israelite religion is highlighted, and theoretical concerns regarding the materiality of religion are explored. Concerning gender, Boer’s attention to the symbolic links between political/military power and hegemonic masculinity are highlighted, and theoretical concerns about the origin of patriarchy in relation to the origin of private property are explored.

  • 7

    Boer, Sacred Economy, 57.

  • 8

    Braudel, The Mediterranean, 20.

  • 9

    Boer, Sacred Economy, 145.

  • 12

    Keefe, Woman’s Body and the Social Body, 191-95.

  • 13

    Boer, Sacred Economy, 205.

  • 14

    Ibid., 195.

  • 15

    Roland Boer, “The Patriarch’s Nuts: Concerning the Testicular Logic of Biblical Hebrew,” Journal of Men, Masculinities and Spirituality 5, no. 2 (2011): 41-52.

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  • 16

    Ibid., 49.

  • 17

    Ibid., 43.

  • 18

    Tim Carrigan, Bob Connell, and John Lee, “Toward a New Sociology of Masculinity,” pp. 63-100 in The Making of Masculinities: The New Men’s Studies, ed. Harry Brod ( Boston: Allen & Unwin, 1987). In the field of biblical studies, Susan E. Haddox applies this concept of hegemonic masculinity as she analyzes Hosea’s rhetorical attacks on the masculinity of Israel’s elites in her essay “(E)Masculinity in Hosea’s Political Rhetoric,” in Israel’s Prophets and Israel’s Past: Essays on the Relationship of Prophetic Texts and Israelite History in Honor of John H. Hayes, eds. Brad E. Kelle and Megan Bishop Moore (n.y.: T&T Clark International, 2006), 174-200.

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  • 20

    Gerda Lerner, The Creation of Patriarchy (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1986), 21-29 and 46-53.

  • 21

    Boer, Sacred Economy, 217-222.

  • 22

    Ibid., 221.

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