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Wollaston Research Seminar

Monday, 15 April, 2:00 pm3:30 pm AWST

Join us online for the next Wollaston Research Seminar on 15th April 2024 at 2pm AWST

Dr Caroline Blyth (Honorary Research Associate, Wollaston Theological College) to present “Mad, Bad, or Sad? Understanding Violent Women in the Bible”.


Biblical scholars have spilled much ink trying to find meaning in the violence that various biblical women – including Jael, Judith, Delilah, Jezebel, and Salome – have either perpetrated or orchestrated. These female characters’ complicity in violence is often “explained” by casting them in a particular (and most often pejorative) light. In this seminar, I compare these interpretive traditions with some narratives that are often used to classify contemporary violent women in popular, academic, and legal discourse. Specifically, I consider whether the categorization of violent women as either “mad, bad, or sad” can likewise be identified in biblical interpretation. I also consider why these narratives surround female violence and how they tap into wider cultural anxieties about gender and female sexuality.

NB the discussion will touch on the topics of sexual violence and intimate partner violence, as well as lethal violence perpetrated against men.

Any pre-reading will be distributed to registered participants in advance of the seminar. 

Contact: wtcresearch@perth.anglican.org

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Monday, 15 April
2:00 pm–3:30 pm AWST
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