New Book Edited by Amy Kalmanofsky Examines Sexual Violence in Sacred Texts

FSR Books releases a new book that explores sexual violence in sacred texts, within the context of an interfaith dialogue among Jewish, Muslim and Christian feminists.

Madison, NJ, February 08, 2018 --( Sexual violence is an aspect of ancient sacred texts, across all faith traditions, just as it is in contemporary society. Jewish Biblical Scholar Amy Kalmanofsky notes that scholars of sacred texts have an added responsibility to think about the effect that such texts have on students, and she has edited a new book on the topic.

“Sexual Violence and Sacred Texts” is a collection of six essays on different sacred texts from Christianity, Judaism and Islam that depict or sometimes incite sexual violence. The essays empower academics, religious leaders and the public to confront and to creatively engage with sacred texts, encouraging interfaith dialogue for those who work to transform social problems affecting women and girls around the globe.

Judith Plaskow, professor emerita of religious studies at Manhattan College, writes that the book “lifts up the reality of gender-based violence in Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Scriptures in ways that illuminate the roots of violence in our own time.”

Episcopal priest Wil Gafney, associate professor of Hebrew Bible, Brite Divinity School, writes that the book “takes an unflinching look at violence in religious texts from the perspective of women who are scholars of and participants in the traditions in which the texts are venerated. What emerges is a series of deep, faithful, brutally honest engagements with the scriptures of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.”

The book was supported in part by a grant from the Carter Center under its Human Rights Program and Mobilizing Action for Women and Girls Initiative.

Editor Amy Kalmanofsky is a rabbi and associate professor of Bible at the Jewish Theological Seminary. Her other books include “Terror All Around; The Rhetoric of Horror in the Book of Jeremiah” and “The Dangerous sisters of the Hebrew Bible.”

Contributing authors are as follows:
Ayesha S. Chaudhry, associate professor of Islamic studies and gender studies in the Department of Classic, Near Easter and Religious Studies and the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice at the University of British Columbia.

Celene Ibrahim has a joint faculty appointment as Islamic studies scholar-in-residence at Andover Newton Theological School and Hebrew College, where the co-directs the Center for Inter-Religious and Community Leadership Education (CIRCLE). She is Muslim chaplain for Tufts University.

Sarra Lev, chairman of the Department of Rabbinic Civilization and associate professor of rabbinic literature at Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. She co-founded Bat Kol: A Feminist House of Study.

Shelly Mathews, professor of New Testament at Brite Divinity School. She is an ordained United Methodist minister and also the co-founder and co-chair of the Society of Biblical Literature consultation on Racism, Pedagogy and Biblical Studies.

Fulata Moyo is the World Council of Churches’ programme executive for a Just Community of Women and Men and a visiting scholar at Harvard Divinity School.

For additional information, please visit

Sexual Violence and Sacred Texts
Amy Kalmanofsky (editor)
Feminist Studies in Religion Books
ISBN: 978-1-4575-5109-3 156 pages $18.95 US

Available at Ingram,, Barnes & Noble and fine bookstores everywhere.

Feminist Studies in Religion Books (FSR Books) is companion to the Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion. FSR Books is interreligious in its subjects, transdisciplinary in its methods, and intersectional in its analyses. The editors are committed to rigorous thinking and analysis in the service of feminist transformation of both the discipline of religious studies and the institutions of religion and society.
Dog Ear Publishing
Ray Robinson