The Paradigm of Elizabeth: Sexism, Solidarity and the Saviour in Luke

Karl Hand

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The historical church has consistently understood Luke's gospel to affirm the marginalised, including women. Recentfeminist critical methods, such as gender deconstruction, cause us to rethink this. The possibility must be consideredthat underlying a seemingly innocent text are hidden social codes, which may not be so positive towards the feminine.Has a hidden patriarchal agenda been encoded into this text? While acknowledging some of the claims made by criticalfeminist authors, this essay looks at the text in a different light. Analysis of the key gynocentric text ' the infancynarrative ' provides a model based upon the author's treatment of Elizabeth. Particular attention is also payed to thesocial context of meals, and table-service. This essay will survey the gospel of Luke, and literature surrounding it, tocritically evaluate the place that the narrative gives to women. Appropriately to the subject, it focuses on thosepericopes that are gendered feminine, particularly the uniquely gynocentric infancy and table narratives. With regardsto scholarly literature, I engage feminist biblical scholars, and yet still come from my conspicuously male viewpoint. It ishoped that this perspective will be a valuable one, seeing the text in question is (supposedly) written by a male author. Ialso hold a confident belief in the value and equality of women. A further peculiarity of my perspective is religious:coming from a Reformed-Evangelical viewpoint with certain doctrinal presuppositions about the inspiration and unityof scripture. The implication of this will becomes clear later on.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalAustralian E-Journal of Theology
Publication statusPublished - 2005


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