"Women and the Religion of Ancient Israel" by Susan Ackerman

Women and the Religion of Ancient Israel Susan Ackerman

The Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library
Publication date:
22 Feb 2022
Yale University Press
584 pages: 235 x 156mm
39 b-w illus.

Throughout the biblical narrative, ancient Israelite religious life is dominated by male actors. When women appear, they are often seen only on the periphery: as tangential, accidental, or passive participants. However, despite their absence from the written record, they were often deeply involved in religious practice and ritual observance.
In this new volume, Susan Ackerman presents a comprehensive account of ancient Israelite women’s religious lives and experiences. She examines the various sites of their practice, including household shrines, regional sanctuaries, and national temples; the calendar of religious rituals that women observed on a weekly, monthly, and yearly basis; and their special roles in religious settings. Drawing on texts, archaeology, and material culture, and documenting the distinctions between Israelite women’s experiences and those of their male counterparts, Ackerman reconstructs an essential picture of women’s lived religion in ancient Israelite culture.

Susan Ackerman is the Preston H. Kelsey Professor of Religion at Dartmouth College, where she has taught since 1990. She is the author of several books, including Warrior, Dancer, Seductress, Queen: Women in Judges and Biblical Israel. She lives in Lebanon, NH.

“The culmination of decades of scholarly study, this landmark work illuminates the important and varied roles of women in ancient Israelite religion. Most highly recommended.”—Mark S. Smith, Princeton Theological Seminary