Bible Review 12:1, February 1996

Giving Eve’s Daughters Their Due

By Jo Milgrom

Great Women of the Bible in Art and Literature

by Dorothée Sölle, Joe H. Kirchberger and Herbert Haag (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1994), 295 pp., $75.00

“Great! Women of the Bible in Art and Literature” is my emended reading of this title. There are 25 of them here, beginning with Eve and her shadow Lilith and ending with the Marys and Martha, the New Testament complement to aspects of the feminine archetype.

The very presence of Lilith (who is mentioned in Isaiah 34:14) and the constellation of Marys intimate with Jesus buoys our hope for directness and candor. These women not only figure in visual art from the early Christian period to the present—they leap into the postbiblical literature of Christianity, Judaism and Islam, and then spread into the works of Dante, Goethe, Flaubert, Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw, to name only a few.

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