Meredith Warren deposited The Social Dynamics Surrounding Yahwistic Women’s Supposed Ritual Deviance in Ezekiel 13:17–23 in the group Journal for Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies on Humanities Commons 4 months, 3 weeks ago
This article suggests that in Ezekiel 13:17–23 we have an example of the ritual activities of Yahwistic women being undermined. However, rather than opening the hermeneutical crux of attempting to understand what it is the women are doing or how their ritual activity is functioning, I will focus squarely on the broader social dynamics in the text. Specifically, I pay attention to the way in which stereotypes are used as foils in the struggle to define authentic authority and power. Instead of dividing ancient Israelite society solely along gender lines, I will acknowledge the text’s misogynistic undertones, but I will also attend to broader social questions. I use, as a heuristic analogy, examples of magic accusations drawn from Classics in order to illustrate the potentially complex social dynamics and tensions potentially underlying the text. I argue that Ezekiel’s accusation, in and of itself, of the women’s ritual deviancy is enough to damage the women’s reputation. Likewise, I argue for the possibility that the women’s ritual activity is an attempt to gain a sense of agency and control after the chaos of the Babylonian exile.