The Power of Equivocation: Complex Readers and Readings of the Hebrew Bible


Product Details

$34.00  $31.62
Fortress Press
Publish Date
5.7 X 8.6 X 0.9 inches | 0.85 pounds

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About the Author

Amy Kalamosfky is the Blanche and Romie Shapiro Professor of Bible and the Dean of Undergraduate and Graduate Studies at the Jewish Theological Seminary. She is the author of Gender-Play in the Hebrew Bible (2017), Sexual Violence and Sacred Texts (2017), Dangerous Sisters of the Hebrew Bible (2014), and Terror All Around: Horror, Monsters, and Theology in the Book of Jeremiah (2008).


Complexity, ambiguity, tensions, paradox, multiplicity. The Hebrew Bible is comfortable with all of these, so why aren't we? As a feminist, Jewish interpreter Amy Kalmanofsky helps us see and appreciate the complexities and ambiguities in a number of engaging interpretations of biblical stories of female characters. But she also helps us to be aware of the complexity of us as readers and the multiple roles and identities that impact what we see, or do not see, in the text and in the world. We need this book on equivocal readings of the Hebrew Bible now more than ever, as we, individually and collectively, struggle to regain our footing in a post-pandemic world in which uncertainty and insecurity have become the new normal. --L. Juliana Claassens, Stellenbosch University

The Power of Equivocation is a thoughtful, generous, and deeply feminist reimagining of what it means to read the Bible. Kalmanofsky takes on the contradictions and moral complexities of biblical narrative and makes them the centerpiece of 'equivocal reading, ' an interpretive practice that is at once flexible, critical, and affirming. A book for all biblical readers. An unequivocal success. --Rhiannon Graybill, Rhodes College

A joy to read for all who welcome questions more than answers. Kalmanofsky has curated rich readings for those who recognize openly that we inevitably bring our complex selves to a beautifully complex text. --Brittany N. Melton, Palm Beach Atlantic University and University of the Free State

Kalmanofsky's latest work is committed to revealing the intentional ambiguities of biblical storytelling, while also acknowledging the complexities of reading the Hebrew Bible as a scholar, a feminist, and a Jew. She adeptly strikes a balance between the personal and the useful that is often elusive for scholars. Following her through some of the most well-known biblical tales and marveling at her illumination of their many complexities was akin to reading a comprehensive travel guide of your hometown: Who knew there was so much to see in something so familiar? --Stephen Wilson, Georgetown University