GENEVA, Switzerland – Filled with seeing their sacred texts to justify the subjugation of women, a group of feminist theologians from the Protestant-Catholic divide have joined forces to form "A Women's Bible." " to design.
As the # The MeToo movement exposes sexual abuse in different cultures and industries. Some scholars of Christianity are calling for a departure from biblical interpretations that they claim to have negative images of women.
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The women we know from translations and interpretations of Bible texts are servants, prostitutes or saints who are seen dancing for a king or for Jesus Kissing feet.
But while many feminists have called for the Bible, Christianity, and religion as a whole to be thrown away, instead, a diverse group of theologians insists that the Good Book, if properly interpreted, can be an instrument for promoting women's emancipation ,
"Feminist values and reading the Bible are not incompatible," insisted Lauriane Savoy, one of two Geneva-based professors of theology behind the draft "Une Bible des Femmes "(" A Women's Bible "). The professor at the Faculty of Theology in Geneva, founded by the father of Calvinism in 1559, said the idea for the work came after she and her colleague Elisabeth Parmentier realized how little most people knew or understood the biblical texts.
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"Many people thought that they were completely outdated, without paying attention to today's values of equality". the 33-year-old told AFP, which stood among the towering sculptures of Jean Calvin and other Protestant founders on the campus of the University of Geneva.
To resist this idea, the 57-year-old Savoy and Parmentier joined with 18 other female theologians from a number of countries and Christian denominations.
Scholars have produced a collection of texts that challenge traditional interpretations of biblical scriptures that classify female characters as weak and subordinate to the men around them.
Parmentier points to a passage in the Gospel of Luke, in which Jesus visits two sisters, Martha and Mary.
"It says that Martha guarantees the" ministry "that has been interpreted as serving the food, but the G reek word diakonia can have other meanings as well, for example it could mean that she was a deaconess" she stressed.
– Overthrow Religious Orthodoxy –
They are not the first to provide another Women-friendly reading of the scriptures.
Already in 1898, the American suffragette Elizabeth Cady Stanton and a committee of 26 other women designed "The Woman's Bible", which aimed to overthrow the religious orthodoxy that women should be subject to men ,
The two Geneva professors of theology say they were inspired by this work and originally planned to translate it into French.
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But after discovering that the 120-year-old text was too outdated, they decided to create a new work that was written in the 21st Century. Century could find appeal.
"We wanted to work in an ecumenical way," said Parmentier, stressing that about half of the women involved in the project are Catholic and the other half are from a project number of branches of Protestantism.
In the introduction to the "Women's Bible," the authors said that the chapters should question "shifts in the Christian tradition, things that have remained hidden, tendentious translations, pa interpretations."
– "Patriarchal Readings "-
They imagine" the patriarchal readings that have justified numerous restrictions and prohibitions on women, "write the authors.
Savoy said that Mary Magdalene, "the female figure who appears most in the Gospels," had received a rough deal in many shared interpretations of the texts.
"She stood beside Jesus, even though he died on the cross, when all the male disciples were afraid." She was the first to go to his tomb and discover his resurrection, "she emphasized.
"This is a basic figure, however, as a prostitute, … and even as the lover of Jesus in recent fiction."
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accept. The scholars also make a great effort to place the texts in their historical context.
"We fight against literal reading of the texts," said Parmentier, citing, for example, letters that Saint Paul sent to aspiring Christian communities.
Reading passages from these letters that could easily be interpreted as radically anti-feminist, as instructions on how women should be treated The day is crazy, she said.
"It's like taking a letter someone sends to give advice that is valid for all eternity."
The texts of the theologians also address the Bible through various themes, such as the body, seduction, motherhood, and submission.
The authors say their work is a useful tool in the #MeToo era.
"Each chapter deals with existential questions for women, questions that still arise today," said Parmentier.  "While some say that you have to throw out the Bible to be a feminist, we believe the opposite."