Encountering Silence
Joy A. Schroeder: Encountering the Silenced Voices of Women Biblical Interpreters
November 16, 2022
A conversation with Dr. Joy Schroeder, co-author of "Voices Long Silenced"
Dr. Joy A. Schroeder, a Lutheran pastor, joins the Encountering Silence team to explore the shadow side of silence — in this case, the silencing of many significants voices in the Christian tradition, of women Bible interpreters.

Dr. Schroeder is a specialist in the history of biblical interpretation. She is professor of church history at Trinity Lutheran Seminary and the Department of Religion and Philosophy at Capital University, Columbus, Ohio. She is the author of Deborah's Daughters: Gender Politics and Biblical Interpretation, Dinah's Lament: The Biblical Legacy of Sexual Violence in Christian Interpretation, and several other books on the history of interpretation of scripture. She is the co-author (with Marion Ann Taylor) of Voices Long Silenced: Women Biblical Interpreters Through the Centuries, which tells the story of the many women who studied and interpreted the Bible over the past two thousand years, but whose stories have remained largely untold.

In Voices Long Silenced, Schroeder and Taylor introduce readers to the notable contributions of female commentators through the centuries. They unearth fascinating accounts of Jewish and Christian women from diverse communities—rabbinic experts, nuns, mothers, mystics, preachers, teachers, suffragists, and household managers—who interpreted Scripture through their writings. The book recounts the struggles and achievements of women who gained access to education and biblical texts. It tells the story of how their interpretive writings were preserved or, all too often, lost. It also explores how, in many cases, women interpreted Scripture differently from the men of their times. Consequently, Voices Long Silenced makes an important, new contribution to biblical reception history.

This book focuses on women's written words and briefly comments on women’s interpretation in media, such as music, visual arts, and textile arts. It includes short, representative excerpts from diverse women’s own writings that demonstrate noteworthy engagement with Scripture. Voices Long Silenced calls on scholars and religious communities to recognize the contributions of women, past and present, who interpreted Scripture, preached, taught, and exercised a wide variety of ministries in churches and synagogues.