Title: “Do Not Worry…?" Exploring Gender, Economics, and Ecology In Matt 6:25-34
Authors: Ibita, Ma. Marilou
Issue Date: 9-Jul-2014
Conference: Society of Biblical Literature International Meeting location:Vienna, Austria date:6-10 July 2014
Abstract: The “pervasive androcentricism” (Anderson, 1983) of Matthew’s Gospel challenged men and women biblical scholars (Levine, 2001) resulting in feminist readings using various methodologies and hermeneutical approaches. Apart from androcentricism, other questions such as power relations (West and Dube, 1996), location (Bird, etc., 1997), and ethnicity (Levine, 1996; Pui-lan, etc., 2004) were also considered. However, David Sim’s (2011) concise summary of the current state of research in Matthew states that feminist criticism is “an underrated and underrepresented method.” I argue in this paper that this lacuna is obvious in the Sermon on the Mount scholarship, particularly in a feminist ecological and economic reading of Mt 6:25-34 due to: (a) insufficient narrative-critical study that shows closer integration of the Sermon on the Mount with the rest of Matthew’s narrative (Anderson, 1983, 1996); (b) inadequate discussion of the gender aspect of the activities mentioned in Mt 6:25-34 from a first century CE setting in Roman Palestine; and (c) the limited exploration of the economic aspect of the activities mentioned in the text. Consequently, despite the increasing number of ecological interpretations of this passage (e.g., Leske, 2002; Bauckham, 2009; Tsalampouni, 2011), the consideration of gender seems limited to passing comments that say that sowing and reaping are men’s work while spinning is the job of women while the economic aspect and its impact on ecology is not fully integrated. Using narrative criticism, social-scientific criticism and gender-criticism with particular attention to gender, ecology and economics, I will demonstrate that exploring these aspects in relation to sowing, reaping and spinning as well as the more general human activities of eating and drinking and wearing of clothes results in a more gender-inclusive and economically-informed interpretation of an ecological reading of this text that can help readers respond to the ecological and economic anxieties of our day.
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IMa
Appears in Collections:Centre for Academic Teacher Training

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