Ruth - A Case for Women, or a Case for Patriarchy?

Robert Martinez


This article analyses the Old Testament character, Ruth, in the social, historical, and religious context of the biblical book that bears her name. The study employs a feminist literary perspective to show that popular readings are misplaced in suggesting that both the character and the book of Ruth is emblematic for women's  issues and concerns. It is also argued that it is naive to try to reclaim both the character and the book for feminism given the patriarchal ends which both serves. Like the other main characters in the book, Ruth is shown to be a complex figure with mixed motives and this prohibits any facile stereotyping of her character as a paradigm of virtue or the like.

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