Prof. Sarah Derck: Useless women: barrenness and widowhood in the biblical world

The lives of women in the ancient world were disproportionately affected by tragedies like infertility and widowhood; these usually meant a significant reduction of social status and family position, and often destitution. On the other hand, barren women and widows are well-represented in biblical narratives; many prominent figures were one or the other. This lecture will explore the effects of barrenness and widowhood in the ancient world, and then consider the biblical barren women and widows: supposedly ‘useless’ in the eyes of their societies, what is their fate among God’s people?

Categories: Faculty Lecture Series