“Une Bible des femmes” (A Women’s Bible), an Interpretation of the Bible from a Feminist Perspective

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Officially launched in Europe in September 2018, this new publication by Éditions Labor et Fides has attracted a great deal of interest. The title, “Une Bible des femmes“, reflects the purpose of the book. The Bible, as we know it, was written by men, with their particular perspective.

Supported by discoveries in biblical research, various Protestant, Lutheran, Methodist and Catholic theologians from Europe, Africa and Quebec (five), sought to interpret the  Bible from a twenty-first century feminist perspective.

They looked more closely at the presence and contribution of women in the Bible and revisited certain passages in the context of realities experienced today. Sr. Pierrette Daviau, FDLS, one of the authors and a co-editor who describes herself as a feminist, affirmed: “It is important to make women’s points of view known. . .  [but] being feminist is not equivalent to being against men.”

Sr. Daviau notes particularly the diversity of feminine approaches and perceptions in this collective work. The twenty theologians are from different generations (27 to 77 years old). According to her, they shared an extraordinary collective work experience.

These twenty theologians highlight a dozen themes related to well-known, unfamiliar, or even nameless women. They reveal these women’s qualities of wisdom, courage, rootedness in the lives of their people, etc.

It is true that interpretation often bears the mark of personal and subjective convictions. New elements, however, can arouse curiosity, reflection, and critical thinking. They can thus help to broaden our vision. Many people will undoubtedly find Une Bible des femmes a source of enlightenment and encouragement. 

The book won the Religious Book Prize of France in December 2018. It has been widely read in Europe and Africa and is in its second reprint. So far, according to Sr. Daviau, all the comments received have been positive, except for one from an American evangelist who had not even read the book!

The Quebec Provincial LeadershipTeam’s initiative in offering this book to francophone Sisters and Associates for Christmas was greatly appreciated. What a wonderful source for meaningful reflection and possible sharing. . .

Enjoy your reading!

Simone Perras, snjm

Une Bible des femmes. Twenty theologians interpret controversial texts. Elisabeth Parmentier, Pierrette Daviau, Laurianne Savoy (editors). Labor and Fides, 2018. 281 pages.