Journal of Interdisciplinary Feminist Thought


Biblical Studies | Family, Life Course, and Society | Gender and Sexuality


The Book of Genesis is principally a description of the emergence of interconnected families with specific relationships such as husband and wife, husband and wife-surrogate (distinct from prostitutes and harlots) sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, fathers-sons-daughters-in-law.

Love, loyalty, fidelity and affection appear often and in many forms, but no family portrayed in Genesis appears immune to exploitation, manipulation, trickery, treachery, lust, hatred or murder. Both men and women are seen as active forces in the destiny of these troubled families, for good and ill.

This essay is offered as an invitation to those interested in the evolution of family life to look where they might not expect to find anything worthwhile. What I found is hardly final - for me or for anyone else.