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Scrolls of LoveRuth and the Song of Songs$
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Peter S. Hawkins and Lesleigh Cushing Stahlberg

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780823225712

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823225712.001.0001

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Subverting the Biblical World: Sociology and Politics in the Book of Ruth

Subverting the Biblical World: Sociology and Politics in the Book of Ruth

(p.20) Subverting the Biblical World: Sociology and Politics in the Book of Ruth
Scrolls of Love

André LaCocque

Fordham University Press

It is essential that one reads Ruth in the light of a complex social environment that in many ways the book is reacting against. This means taking into account the status of women in ancient Israel and, more broadly, the ancient Near East. It also means considering the status of foreigners within these same surroundings. Both issues become especially intense in a tale whose title character is both female and foreign. In general, it can be said that from the point of view of sociology and religion, a woman's condition was marked by her dependency on men, especially in the realms of the cult and warfare. The book also highlights the difficult choices made by the teller of Ruth's tale. Against the odds, she created a heroine who refutes the prejudice against Moabites and presents an image of strength in vulnerability.

Keywords:   Ruth, social environment, women, ancient Near East, Moabites, strength, vulnerability, Israel, sociology, religion

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