Transforming Scriptures is the 1st sustained therapy of African American girls writers’ highbrow, even theological, engagements with the e-book Northrop Frye often called the “great code” of Western civilization. Katherine Clay Bassard appears to be like at poetry, novels, speeches, sermons, and prayers through Maria W. Stewart, Frances Harper, Hannah Crafts, Harriet E. Wilson, Harriet Jacobs, Zora Neale Hurston, Toni Morrison, and Sherley Anne Williams and discusses how such texts reply as a collective “literary witness” to using the Bible for reasons of social domination. Black women’s ancient encounters with the Bible have been, certainly, transformational; within the strategy of “turning cursing into blessing” those girls have been either formed and reshaped by means of the scriptures they appropriated for his or her personal self-representation.

Two vital biblical figures grow to be key tropes round which girls formed a counternarrative to the dominant culture’s “curse” on black woman identification: the “talking mule” from Numbers 22 and the “black yet comely” Shulamite of music of Songs, the Queen of Sheba. Transforming Scriptures analyzes those tropes inside quite a number contexts, from biblical justifications of slavery and the second-class prestige of ladies to hermeneutical and post-structural opinions of the Bible. African American women’s appropriations of scripture happen inside of a continuum of African American Bible-reading practices and non secular or ideological commitments, argues Bassard. there's hence no unmarried “black women’s hermeneutic”; quite, theories of African American girls and the Bible needs to account for old and social swap and difference.

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