“Women as Ritual Experts in Ancient Israel” with Carol Meyers, Mary Grace Wilson Professor Emerita of Religious Studies, Duke University. This program is free and virtual. Register at cbict.org to receive the Zoom link.
Who were the most important religious figures in ancient Israel? Most people would probably say that the priests were. But they would be wrong. The main arena of religious life for most people in the biblical period was not the Jerusalem temple nor a regional shrine. Rather, it was the family household, and women were major figures in household religious activities. Those activities are largely invisible in the Bible with its focus on the priesthood and sacrifice. However, archaeological materials—and some fascinating ethnographic data—can reveal many aspects of women’s household religious culture and its meaning for the lives of ordinary ancient Israelites.