More notes at http://tanguay.info/learntracker
C O U R S E 
The Bible's Prehistory, Purpose, and Political Future
Dr. Jacob L. Wright, Emory University
C O U R S E   L E C T U R E 
The Biblical Authors' Portrayal of Women and Heroism
Notes taken on July 4, 2016 by Edward Tanguay
similar to Jane Austen in English literature, the Biblical authors redefined the hero
rather than valiant warriors, figures like Ruth and Boaz were a new kind of hero
referred to as a mighty hero
instead of a fighting hero, he is a hero through being a man of
aristocratic virtue
established justice in his society
some of the most beautiful stories in the Bible
especially in Genesis where most of them are told have nothing to do with military virture
we have a lot of them
but these are in the background
in the forefront are stories of family life
finding a wife for Isaac
similar to themes in Jane Austen's novels
adventures are about romance and family life and preserving one's name
making it possible that a society can survive catastrophe and dramatic change
for a people who lack military technologies, strength is in the numbers
this explains the extraordinary attention paid to procreation in the Bible
its imperative that procreation and children are held up in high esteem
so that the nation can survive just in terms of sheer numbers
a blessing for people is a long life and children who carry on their names
Biblical law codes repeated return to family matters
create conditions to insure the preservation of individual families
the Biblical authors make the home, not the battlefield, the center of collective life
refashion gender roles
the domestic sphere is no longer a place only for women
this becomes complicated within the Biblical narratives
men play a larger role in family life than you would find in much heroic literature
show women as contributing to military victory
undermines a traditions justification for male authority
the only female judge mentioned in the Bible, Deborah led a successful counterattack against the forces of Jabin king of Canaan and his military commander Sisera (Judges 4-5)
the Biblical authors present women in more public roles
expected to be present at public assemblies
extolled for taking individual initiative
venerated along with the nation's patriarchs
Sarah is next to Abraham
Rebekah is next to Isaac
there was never a full egalitarianism within Biblical literature
but despite all the patriarchal emphasis in the Biblical narrative
a more robust role for women
civic affairs
military life
in the creation of the nation
Genesis depicts the most important moments in Israel's history in the lives of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, each of these stories have women prominently in them
this is not something revelatory
doesn't have to do with the native Israel compared to surrounding cultures e.g. in Babylonia
or that it received a revelation to portray women this way at some point
these new roles that women and men have to play in society
have to do with a response to a crisis and a catastrophe
that these roles continue on in more progressive societies and are more identifiable in our society
is due to the fact that in a time when their society has been nearly destroyed
they have to involve men in the family life in a different way
and need to involve women in public life in a different way
they need to expand their nation
these ethics were a way for Israel to reconstruct and reinvent itself