Tobias Lecture: “What Do We Really Know About Women’s Rites in the Israelite Family Context?”

by CJS


Saul M. Olyan, Brown University

Event Details

Wednesday, October 10
4:00 p.m.
Union South (TITU), 1308 Dayton Street


What we know about the roles of women in Israelite family religion is a topic in need of reassessment. In this lecture, the author evaluates a number of common claims that have been made about family religion and gender. These include the idea that goddess worship was especially important to women; that Judean pillar figurines were used primarily or exclusively by women in their ritual activities; that the religious practices of ancient Israelite women overlapped little with those of men; and that birth-related ritual contexts were a special preserve of women.

About the Speaker

Saul M. Olyan is the Samuel Ungerleider Jr. Professor of Judaic Studies and Professor of Religious Studies at Brown University. He is the author of Asherah and the Cult of Yahweh in Israel (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1988); A Thousand Thousands Served Him: Exegesis and the Naming of Angels in Ancient Judaism (Tübingen: Mohr/Siebeck, 1993); Rites and Rank: Hierarchy in Biblical Representations of Cult (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000); Biblical Mourning: Ritual and Social Dimensions (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004); Disability in the Hebrew Bible (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008); and Social Inequality in the World of the Text: The Significance of Ritual and Social Distinctions in the Hebrew Bible (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2011) as well as articles and essays on a variety of topics and six edited or co-edited books. The primary focus of his current research is a book project entitled Friendship in the Hebrew Bible, to be published by Yale University Press.