The best books that are critical of religion's view of women

Why am I passionate about this?

This collection started when I had to take a course on Milton as part of my Literature degree program. It didn't make any sense to me blame Eve for the downfall of Man. (I hadn't yet developed much of a feminist consciousness and so didn't realize that women are always blamed... perhaps especially by men, perhaps especially for their own—i.e., men's—behaviour...) "I am Eve" (the first piece in the collection) is actually based on my term paper. After I graduated, I decided to go through the Bible to see who else needed to protest... 


I wrote...

Thus Saith Eve

By Chris Wind,

Book cover of Thus Saith Eve

What is my book about?

Eve should be blamed for choosing the apple? For choosing knowledge over obedience? Knowledge of good and evil? She thinks not. And, well, you can imagine what Noah’s wife had to say about his grand idea... 

Thus Saith Eve presents several 'epistles', each 'written by' one of the women in The Bible, examining her role, her story, her supposed behavior…  Included are Lilith, Abel, Cain's wife, Noah's wife, Hagar, Zipporah, 'the certain woman', Delilah, Eshta, Ruth, the Queen of Sheba, Vashti, Judith, Mary, the mother of God, Mary of Bethany, Mary Magdalen, Thecla, and Satan. (Also available in print as part of Satellites Out of Orbit which includes similar collections focusing on women from mythology, fairy tales, Shakespeare, and history).

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of The Woman's Bible: A Classic Feminist Perspective

Chris Wind Why did I love this book?

Written in 1899, this is still the book to read. It contains thorough and thoughtful commentary on the books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy (part one) and Joshua to Revelation (part two). 369 pages in all. It includes the original text to be commented upon, so there is no need to go out and buy a Bible. And it is, in a word, mind-blowing. (And it will depress the hell out of you to see where we still are 123 years later.)

By Elizabeth Cady Stanton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Woman's Bible as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The publication of The Woman's Bible in 1895 and 1898 represented the last crusade of pioneer feminist Elizabeth Cady Stanton to strike at the roots of the ideology behind her gender's subordinate role in society. In the tradition of radical individualism that guided her philosophy, Stanton's attack on religious orthodoxy is more a forceful political treatise than a scholarly work.
This clarion call to action, assembled by Stanton and a committee of prominent feminists, consists of a book-by-book examination of the Bible, placing events in their historical context, interpreting passages as both allegory and fact, and comparing them with the…


Book cover of Is the Pope Catholic? A Woman Confronts Her Church

Chris Wind Why did I love this book?

From the back cover: "Drawing on her experience as a teacher in the Catholic school system, a former nun, and an outspoken advocate of women's equality, Joanna Manning powerfully articulates how John Paul's views on women are not only a disaster for the Catholic Church, but are also a threat to the well-being of all women, regardless of belief." Well-put. (I imagine there are, and if not, there should be, at least one of these books for each religion/sect... Certainly the Jewish and the Islamic religions are misogynistic as well...)

By Joanna Manning,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Is the Pope Catholic? A Woman Confronts Her Church as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Drawing on experience as a teacher in the Catholic school system, former nun and outspoken advocate on women's equality Joanna Manning powerfully articulates how the Pope's views on women are a threat to the well-being of all women.


Book cover of The Born Again Skeptic's Guide To The Bible

Chris Wind Why did I love this book?

Although the scope of this book is broader than the title of my book list, Green does have a chapter dedicated to "Treatment of Women in the Sweetest Story Ever Told." I believe, like she did, that an almost sure way to atheism is to actually read The Bible – which she did while convalescing from cancer in the 1970s). Two years later, she wrote this book in her 60s.  

By Ruth Hurmence Green,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Born Again Skeptic's Guide To The Bible as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Bible examined from a freethought perspective. Combined with autobiographical "The Book of Ruth."


Book cover of Feminist Biblical Interpretation: A Compendium of Critical Commentary on the Books of the Bible and Related Literature

Chris Wind Why did I love this book?

I'm recommending this book because just—wow. Almost a thousand pages of articles that are feminist in their biblical interpretation. Pity this didn't exist in the late 1980s when I wrote my own book. (It was published in 2012.) (Actually, better that it didn't exist back then—I might not have seen the need for my own modest contribution to the field!)

By Luise Schottroff, Martin Rumscheidt (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Feminist Biblical Interpretation as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The original German edition of Feminist Biblical Interpretation received high acclaim and widespread positive reviews in Europe. That groundbreaking reference tool for contextual biblical interpretation is here available in English for the first time. With contributions from more than sixty female scholars, this is the only one-volume feminist commentary on the entire Bible, including books that are relatively uncharted territory for feminist theology.


Book cover of The Handmaid's Tale

Chris Wind Why did I love this book?

Of course! This one has to be on a list of books that are critical of religion's view of women! Even though it's set in the future, some things never change. And, I believe Atwood said as much when she said that everything that happens in the novel had already happened somewhere at some point in time.  

By Margaret Atwood,

Why should I read it?

35 authors picked The Handmaid's Tale as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

** THE SUNDAY TIMES NO. 1 BESTSELLER **
**A BBC BETWEEN COVERS BIG JUBILEE READ**

Go back to where it all began with the dystopian novel behind the award-winning TV series.

'As relevant today as it was when Atwood wrote it' Guardian

I believe in the resistance as I believe there can be no light without shadow; or rather, no shadow unless there is also light.

Offred is a Handmaid in The Republic of Gilead, a religious totalitarian state in what was formerly known as the United States. She is placed in the household of The Commander, Fred Waterford -…


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By John Kenneth White,

Book cover of Grand Old Unraveling: The Republican Party, Donald Trump, and the Rise of Authoritarianism

John Kenneth White Author Of Grand Old Unraveling: The Republican Party, Donald Trump, and the Rise of Authoritarianism

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Why am I passionate about this?

Reading was a childhood passion of mine. My mother was a librarian and got me interested in reading early in life. When John F. Kennedy was running for president and after his assassination, I became intensely interested in politics. In addition to reading history and political biographies, I consumed newspapers and television news. It is this background that I have drawn upon over the decades that has added value to my research.

John's book list on who we are, how we’ve changed, and what gives us hope

What is my book about?

It didn’t begin with Donald Trump. When the Republican Party lost five straight presidential elections during the 1930s and 1940s, three things happened: (1) Republicans came to believe that presidential elections are rigged; (2) Conspiracy theories arose and were believed; and (3) The presidency was elevated to cult-like status.

Long before Trump, each of these phenomena grew in importance. The John Birch Society and McCarthyism became powerful forces; Dwight D. Eisenhower was the first “personal president” to rise above the party; and the development of what Harry Truman called “the big lie,” where outrageous falsehoods came to be believed. Trump…

Grand Old Unraveling: The Republican Party, Donald Trump, and the Rise of Authoritarianism

By John Kenneth White,

What is this book about?

It didn't begin with Donald Trump. The unraveling of the Grand Old Party has been decades in the making. Since the time of FDR, the Republican Party has been home to conspiracy thinking, including a belief that lost elections were rigged. And when Republicans later won the White House, the party elevated their presidents to heroic status-a predisposition that eventually posed a threat to democracy. Building on his esteemed 2016 book, What Happened to the Republican Party?, John Kenneth White proposes to explain why this happened-not just the election of Trump but the authoritarian shift in the party as a…


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