Biblical humor about women and gender remains elusive for many readers, for its recognition may imply the realization that it’s a cruel and disrespectful humor, ridicule rather than good-natured fun. But viewing humor as social critique, as is largely done in the essays in this volume, with respect to both the texts read and their actual or implied author, may be fun as well as significant for understanding the biblical world.
As most of the essays show, writing about women is writing about men as well. In other words, it is writing about gender roles. The critique of women serves as a critique of men, manhood, and maleness in the texts, of the text’s authors, and of the texts’ commentators and readers.
Contributions to this volume include:
- "Those Riotous—Yet Righteous—Foremothers of Jesus: Exploring Matthew’s Comic Genealogy" by F. Scott Spencer
- "'More Righteous Than I': The Comeuppance of the Trickster in Genesis 38" by Mary E. Shields
- "Humor, Turnabouts, and Survival in the Book of Esther" by Kathleen M. O’Connor
- "Is that Fearfully Funny? Some Instances from the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical Books" by Toni Craven
- "At the Expense of Women: Humor in Acts 16.14–40" by Kathy Williams
- "Are We Amused? Small and Big Differences in Josephus’ Re-Presentations of Biblical Female Figures in the Jewish Antiquities 1–8" by Athalya Brenner
- "Ooooh, Onan! Geschlechtgeschicte and Women in the Biblical World" by Gale A. Yee
- "Women’s Humor and Other Creative Juices" by Amy-Jill Levine
- "Laugh With/At/As Women: How Should We Read Biblical Humor?" by Esther Fuchs