Amy-Jill Levine on The Carpenter, Gender, and Sexuality: The 42nd Annual Antoinette Brown lecture

Professor Amy-Jill Levine (Vanderbilt Divinity School) delivered the 42nd Annual Antoinette Brown lecture on March 31, 2016, at Benton Chapel, Vanderbilt University Divinity School. The lecture also celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Carpenter Program in Religion, Gender, and Sexuality.

Levine’s lecture was entitled “The Carpenter, Gender, and Sexuality: The Use and Abuse of the Gospels in Politics and Piety”. Her lecture looks at what the Bible teaches about rape, adultery, and women’s sexual pleasure. She also discusses the contemporary deployment of the Bible as a weapon: contemporary interpretations of the Bible which result in people dying, such as condemnations of homosexuality and abortion, and domestic abuse. Lastly, she examines the roles and authority of women in the Bible.

The lecture begins at 9:00.

Jennifer Knust on Sexual Desire, Marriage, and Homosexuality in the Bible

Professor Jennifer Wright Knust (Boston University) has delivered various talks related to her book, Unprotected Texts: The Bible’s Surprising Contradictions About Sex and Desire (2011). Three of these are available on YouTube and Vimeo:

“Unprotected Texts: The Bible’s Surprising Contradictions about Sex and Desire”, Massachusetts Bible Society, February 16, 2011

“Sex in the Bible: Bad and Good” (on biblical forms of marriage), Franklin & Marshall College, February 16, 2012

“What the Bible Does (Not) Say About Homosexuality,” Marsh Chapel, Boston University, October 8, 2009 [below average sound quality]

Sexuality and the Bible: What the Texts Really Say

In an event organized by Swissnex San Francisco, Thomas Römer, Sarah Shectman, Konrad Schmid, and Steven McKenzie discussed views on homosexuality and sexuality in the Bible and ancient Near Eastern texts. Sexuality and the Bible: What the Texts Really Say was held on November 17, 2011 at Swissnexx San Francisco, and the video is available on Daily Motion.

What does the Bible tell us of the roles of men and women in ancient society and about the importance of gender? From a literary standpoint, do the texts necessarily condemn or condone certain behaviors and lifestyles? In conjunction with the Annual Conference of the American Academy of Religion and the Society of Biblical Literature, swissnex San Francisco invites top scholars to discuss the role of sexuality in the Bible and answer some of these questions.

The evening features Thomas Römer, Professor of Hebrew Bible at the Faculty of Theology and History of Religions at the University of Lausanne. His book L’homosexualité dans le Proche Orient ancien et la Bible (Homosexuality in the Ancient Orient), focuses on the Bible as a historical source for analyzing how ancient societies viewed relations between men.

Konrad Schmid, Professor of Old Testament and Early Judaism at the University of Zurich and author of Genesis and the Moses Story: Israel’s Dual Origins in the Hebrew Bible (Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 2010), presents the Paradise Story in Genesis 2-3 and its view of sexuality and immortality. And Sarah Shectman, author of Women in the Pentateuch: A Feminist and Source-Critical Analysis (Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2009), looks at the varied attitudes toward women’s sexuality in different parts of the Bible, such as the laws in the Pentateuch that treat women’s sexuality as a possession, belonging either to a father or husband, versus the freer view in the Song of Songs where the protagonist appears more in control of her own body.  Steven McKenzie moderates the discussion.