Reader Response Criticism

Test yourself on reader response

•Definition

•Key quotes

•Fundamentalist (Creation +the Fall/the Flood)

•Feminist (Creation + the Fall)

•Liberation Theology (the Exodus)

•KKK (The Flood)

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  • Created by: CFH
  • Created on: 04-06-14 11:48

What is reader response criticism?

  • Reader response criticism is based on the understanding that different people interpret texts in different ways
  • Readers take away different things from a text and find their own meaning in it 
  • Individuals are influenced by their beliefs and worldview
  • It is completely inevitable
  • 'Ultimately there is no escape from the reader's input to the interpretation of a text'---Wenham
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Feminist: negative reaction

Mary Daly

  • The Bible is misogynistic and sexist
  • It presents women as inferior to men 
  • Advises the total rejection of Christianity and Judaism for this reason

Evidence in Genesis 1-3

  • Man was created first-woman was just created to be man's helper
  • God only breathed life into Adam
  • Eve is the one who eats the forbidden fruit and gives it to Adam
  • One of God's punishment to women is that their husband will rule over them

Backed up by the views of some significant figures in Christianity

  • 'woman was merely man's helpmate'---Augustine
  • 'woman is by nature subordinate to man'---Aquinas
  • 'woman, you are the Devil's doorway...it was your fault that the son of God had to die'---Tertullian
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Feminist: positive reaction

Although some feminists are strongly against the messages in Creation and the Fall, others argue that the Bible does not promote misogyny or unequal treatment of women...

Phyllis Trible's responses

  • Eve being Adam's 'helper'...This is not negative-it shows a positive and beneficial relationship
  • Eve being created from Adam's rib...This does not show woman is a lesser creation-she is just as much a creation of God, Adam is passive 
  • Man will 'rule over' his wife...Does not promote of justify the oppression of women-it is shown to be something negative, as it is a consequence of sin-the perfect, harmonious state is broken
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