Keefe's analysis dismantles the androcentric and theological assumptions which have determined the dominant reading of Hosea's metaphor of Israel as the adulterous wife of God. It shows how the projection of symbolic associations of women with nature, sexual temptation and sin have anachronistically determined this metaphor as referring to Israel's apostasy in a lurid "fertility cult". Against this reading, Keefe's study considers Hosea 1-2 in the context of the association of sexual transgression and social violence in biblical literature; in this light, Hosea's symbol of Israel as an adulterous woman is read as a commentary upon the structural violence in Israelite society which accompanied the 8th century boom in "agribusiness" and attendant processes of land consolidation.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Introduction Chapter 2 Female Fornication and Fertility Religion Chapter 3 The Fertility Cult Revisited Chapter 4 Convenant and Apostasy Chapter 5 Feminist Approaches Hosea Chapter 6 Women, Sex and Society Chapter 7 Rereading Hosea's Family Metaphor Reference List Abbreviations
Alice A. Keefe is Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point, USA.