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    Sarah Shectman to Discuss Contradictory Roles of Women in the Bible

    Mar 21, 2011

    According to the Old Testament women are created from the rib of Adam. In religious communities this is often used as justification for why women should be submissive to men. But, in the book of Judges, Deborah is a female judge of Israel, a position similar to that of a king. Why are there such conflicting views of women? Sarah Shectman, an expert on the Pentateuch and women in the Bible, will examine the complex roles in which women are portrayed in the Old Testament.

     "A close look at the text reveals a highly nuanced depiction of the place of women in society," said Shectman. "There are distinctions between women in different social and economic groups and in different periods in the centuries during which the Bible was written."

    Shectman will give a discussion titled "Women's Status in Biblical Israel" at 7 p.m., Thursday April 7 in University of the Pacific's Biology Building room 101. Following her discussion will be a question and answer session. The event is free and open to the public.

    "The Religious Studies Department is excited to bring Dr. Shectman to campus," said Alan Lenzi, assistant professor of Religious and Classical Studies at Pacific. "This will be a wonderful opportunity to gain a different perspective on well-known texts and to think about how biblical interpretation has social implications."

    Shectman received her master's and doctorate from Brandeis University and a bachelor's degree in religion from Wellesley College. Her research interests include the composition history of the Pentateuch and women and priestly law. In 2009 she published her book, "Women in the Pentateuch: A Feminist and Source-Critical Analysis."

    For more information contact Alan Lenzi at alenzi@pacific.edu.