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Showing posts from March, 2019

Naomi's Best Friend's Wedding

In Doris Lessing’s The Golden Notebook, the protagonist is repeatedly approached with proposals to adapt her novel into a screenplay, all of which eschew the challenging societal critique at the heart of the book in preference for comfortable, familiar-story-arc reductions likely to please and appease a wide audience. It got me thinking about how we frequently and instinctively do that with the Bible – and about how much we risk missing or diminishing when we default to readings that conform to our prior expectations, rather than allowing scripture to conflict with and challenge those expectations.

No doubt I’m desensitised to this when it suits me. But I’ve grown quick to notice when the Bible’s accounts of female characters, already fewer in number than its stories of men, are read through a filter of familiarity and a priori gender assumptions. The book of Ruth is a prime candidate – partly because we do love a good love story, and partly because it is hard for us in the here and …