Date of Award

2011

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Religion (MAR)

First Advisor

Warren C. Robertson

Abstract

The goal of this thesis was to appropriate the image of Yahweh as father for modern Christendom in light of feminist critiques of the image. The methods in accomplishing this task were as follows: defining feminism and feminist biblical interpretation, conveying the critiques of Rosemary Radford Ruether and Julia M. O'Brien who were scholarly dialogue partners, studying the social milieu of ancient Israel, using historical, literary, textual, and social criticism to exegete texts that mention Yahweh as father, comparing findings of exegesis with social milieu of ancient Israel, responding to critiques of Ruether and O'Brien, and lastly taking the findings of these methods and appropriating the image. It was discovered that if one takes the role of Yahweh as father in light of the Israel's social milieu in the OT, appropriation can occur in these four ways: a father raises his child with love by encouraging autonomy for the sake of community, seeing the image of Yahweh as father as a liberation motif, realizing the importance of the image of Yahweh as mother and father in light of Gen 1 and 2, which encourages androgynous wholeness, and understanding the power and inability of metaphors, yet reaching for their potential.

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