Sunday, March 01, 2015

Ben Sira, gender, and canon

Why Is There a Bible and What Do Women Have To Do With It?
Gender, Ben Sira, and the Canon

What makes Ben Sira stand out within this larger cultural gender ideology is that the women he fears most are not the women on the street, or even the singing girls he expects to encounter at banquets (Sir. 9:1-9). Rather, in a far more acute manifestation of gender anxiety, the woman he fears most is his own wife.

The following essay is adapted from Ben Sira and the Men Who Handle Books: Gender and the Rise of Canon-Consciousness (Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2013).

By Claudia V. Camp
John F. Weatherly Professor of Religion
General editor, Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies
Texas Christian University
January 2015