Sex Working And The Bible

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 8/8/2014
  • Publisher: Routledge
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Sex Working and the Bible interprets stories of biblical prostitution with activist sex workers and incorporates their social theory of prostitution to engage existing liberation and feminist readings. By reading with sex worker rights activists, unique and challenging interpretations were produced. The Sex Worker Outreach Project (SWOP-USA) conducted group readings of four biblical narratives: the story of Rahab in Joshua 2 and 6, the story of Solomon and the two prostitutes of 1 Kings 3:16-28, the anointing woman traditions (Jn 12:1-8/Mk 14:3-9/Mt 26:6-13/Lk 7:36-50) and the apocalyptic vision of the whore Babylon in Revelation 17-19. Rahab is read as a rebellious police snitch who sides with the revolutionaries. The story of Solomon's riddle is interpreted as a parody according to sex worker experiences of a corrupt justice system. Anointing woman is explored as a prostitute avatar of the Goddess of love who performs an act of erotic worship with Jesus. The whore Babylon is examined in light of the violence experienced by sex workers. This study also demonstrates and challenges interpretive trends that make sex workers invisible in feminist and liberation readings of biblical prostitution. The book concludes with recommendations for an inclusive liberation hermeneutic that engages sex worker standpoints.

Author Biography

Avaren Ipsen earned her doctorate in Biblical Literature in 2006 at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. She is a lecturer at UC Berkeley in the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies, where she teaches social theory. Ipsen has also served as vice-chair of the Berkeley Commission on the Status of Women.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrationsp. viii
Acknowledgementsp. ix
Introductionp. 1
Methodological and Political Analysis: A Preferential Option for Prostitutes?p. 13
Gutierrez' "Option for the Poor"p. 14
Pastoral da Mulher Marginalizadap. 17
The Prostitute Movement in Brazilp. 21
A Preferential Option for Prostitute Women?p. 27
Standpoint Theoryp. 29
Sex Worker Standpoint of SWOPp. 33
Excursus on Decriminalization and Measure Qp. 43
Measure Qp. 48
Rahab's Dealp. 55
Scholar Standpointsp. 56
Sex Worker Standpoint on Rahabp. 73
Majority SWOP Readingp. 73
Minority Opinion of SWOPp. 78
"Those are not her people!"p. 81
Analysis of Differences between Biblical Scholars and SWOP Activistsp. 84
SWOP Retelling the Story of Rahab, a Collage of Quotesp. 85
Solomon and the Two Prostitutesp. 89
Scholar Standpointsp. 90
Sex Worker Standpoint on Solomon and the Two Prostitutesp. 97
Majority SWOP Readingp. 98
Prostitute Mothersp. 99
Corrupt Courtsp. 100
Solidarity with Both the Mothersp. 103
Minority SWOP Readingp. 108
A Bad Economy for Womenp. 109
Analysis of Differences between Biblical Scholars and SWOP Activistsp. 115
SWOP Commentary of the Story of Solomon and the Two Prostitutesp. 116
Anointing Woman: "In Memory of Her": The Prequelp. 120
Scholar Standpointsp. 122
Sex Worker Standpoint on the Anointing Woman Traditionsp. 141
Is Anointing Woman a Prostitute? Anointing as Sex Workp. 142
Anointing Woman as Sinner: Prostitution as Sin?p. 147
Is There a Goddess Hidden in the Account of Jesus' Anointing?p. 152
Analysis of Differences between Biblical Scholars and SWOP Activistsp. 159
Exegetical Quotes on Anointing Womanp. 160
The Whore Babylon: Violence against Prostitutesp. 166
Scholar Standpointsp. 169
Sex Worker Standpoint on the Whore Babylonp. 177
Reality of Violence against Prostitutesp. 177
Is the Whore Babylon a Prostitute? Does it Matter?p. 183
Being Oppressed is no Excusep. 188
Prostitutes as Scapegoatsp. 191
Analysis of Differences between Biblical Scholars and SWOP Activistsp. 196
SWOP Commentary on the Whore Babylonp. 197
Conclusions: Amendments to Liberation Hermeneuticsp. 205
Discussion Questionsp. 213
Bibliographyp. 215
Index of Referencesp. 232
Index of Namesp. 235
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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