Wisdom, strange or somewhere in between: in search of a real woman in the Book of Proverbs

Hartwell, Jeanette May (2017). Wisdom, strange or somewhere in between: in search of a real woman in the Book of Proverbs. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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The focus of this study is the portrayal of the Strange Woman and the unnamed mothers and wives of Proverbs arguing for a realistic portrayal of these women within the book. Informed by a feminist approach it considers the impact of male-oriented reading strategies upon existing interpretation and attends to the way in which poetic parallelism and variant repetition create proverbial clusters which offer an alternative context for the interpretation of proverbs. The findings show, firstly, that current interpretations of women in Proverbs are unduly influenced by the portrayal of Wisdom, the Strange Woman and the Woman of Worth in the framework of chapters 1-9 and 31, rather than by the text itself. Secondly, women’s voices provide a possible source for material in the lectures of Proverbs 1-9 (along with the father), the poems of Proverbs 31, and as the narrator of the encounter with the Strange Woman in Proverbs 7. Thirdly, where mothers and wives are in focus, alternative interpretations can be offered which do not assess the character or behaviour of the woman, but rather focus on the son’s character and behaviour and its subsequent impact upon relationships with his parents, his wife and his own offspring.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion, Department of Theology and Religion
Funders: Other
Other Funders: The Church of England
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BS The Bible
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/7593


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