Last week I shared a flurry of Pickwick titles I’ve worked on in this new publishing year. Today I’d like to call attention to a recently published Cascade book:

I Found God in Me is the first womanist biblical hermeneutics reader. In it readers have access, in one volume, to articles on womanist interpretative theories and theology as well as cutting-edge womanist readings of biblical texts by womanist biblical scholars. This book is an excellent resource for women of color, pastors, and seminarians interested in relevant readings of the biblical text, as well as scholars and teachers teaching courses in womanist biblical hermeneutics, feminist interpretation, African American hermeneutics, and biblical courses that value diversity and dialogue as crucial to excellent pedagogy.

 

I first worked with Mitzi J. Smith in 2011 to publish a revision of her dissertation, The Literary Construction of the Other in the Acts of the Apostles: Charismatics, the Jews, and WomenIn the first part of this new book, she and other womanist interpreters pull back from the text a bit to take a look at womanist interpretative theory more broadly, using Alice Walker’s short essay, “Womanist,” as a springboard. Beginning with Walker’s essay, the chapters in the first half of the book then include:

  1. Womanist Interpretations of the New Testament: The Quest for Holistic and Inclusive Translation and Interpretation by Clarice J. Martin
  2. Re-Reading for Liberation: African American Women and the Bible by Renita J. Weems
  3. Womanist Interpretation and Preaching in the Black Church by Katie Geneva Cannon
  4. An African Methodology for South African Biblical Sciences: Revisiting the Bosadi (Womanhood) Approach by Madipoane J. Masenya
  5. Marginalized People, Liberating Perspectives: A Womanist Approach to Biblical Interpretation by Kelly Brown Douglas
  6. Our Mothers’ Gardens: Discrete Sources of Reflection on the Cross in Womanist Christology by JoAnne Marie Terrell
  7. “This Little Light of Mine”: The Womanist Biblical Scholar as Prophetess, Iconoclast, and Activist by Mitzi J. Smith

In the second half of the book, Smith and others look more closely at biblical passages, characters, and books.

  1. A Womanist Midrash on Zipporah by Wil Gafney
  2. Fashioning Our Own Souls: A Womanist Reading of the Virgin-Whore Binary in Matthew and Revelation by Mitzi J. Smith
  3. A Womanist-Postcolonial Reading of the Samaritan Woman at the Well and Mary Magdalene at the Tomb by Lynne St. Clair Darden
  4. Minjung, the Black Masses, and the Global Imperative: A Womanist Reading of Luke’s Soteriological Hermeneutical Circle by Mitzi J. Smith
  5. Wisdom in the Garden: The Woman of Genesis 3 and Alice Walker’s Sophia by Kimberly Dawn Russaw
  6. “Knowing More than is Good for One”: A Womanist Interrogation of the Matthean Great Commission by Mitzi J. Smith
  7. Silenced Struggles for Survival: Finding Life in Death in the Book of Ruth by Yolanda Norton
  8. “Give Them What You Have”: A Womanist Reading of the Matthean Feeding Miracle (Matt 14:13–21) by Mitzi J. Smith
  9. Acts 9:36–43: The Many Faces of Tabitha, a Womanist Reading by Febbie C. Dickerson

The result of this structure is a fascinating collection that introduces readers to both theory and practice of womanist biblical interpretation. Thomas B. Slater of the McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University, Macon, GA says,

It is good reading for pastor and academician alike: for pastors to see the many implications of a growing movement for fellowship in the black church; for academicians to engage in a continuing activity that is not dissipating but growing, a movement which has significant implications for the interpretation of Scripture and the development of Christian theology and ethics in the future. The church and the academy are indebted to Smith for this significant, stimulating study.