Christian feminism, pioneered in the 19th and early 20th centuries by such notable figures of Catherine Booth, Frances Willard, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, made huge strides in the advancement of women’s rights, religiously and politically. However, this advancement came at the cost of increasing anti-judaic rhetoric. In forming their theological position, many Christian feminists did so by blaming the Old Testament and Judaism for its patriarchal systems. To them, it was only in Christ and the “New Kingdom” that one could find a table of equality.
Recently Cambridge University Press released its newest publication in the expansive “Key Themes in Ancient History” series by the prominent historian Seth Schwartz, amorphously entitled The Ancient Jews from Alexander to Muhammad.
Those with even a peripheral knowledge of ancient history will know that such a task is ambiguous, which even Schwartz explicitly states: “to write in a synoptic and summary way about the ancient Jews is to tread through a minefield” (5).