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The Bible in American Life$
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Philip Goff, Arthur Farnsley, and Peter Thuesen

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190468910

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190468910.001.0001

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Biblical Women in the Woman’s Exponent

Biblical Women in the Woman’s Exponent

Nineteenth-Century Mormon Women Interpret the Bible

(p.89) 7 Biblical Women in the Woman’s Exponent
The Bible in American Life

Amy Easton-Flake

Oxford University Press

Using the hundreds of articles in the Woman’s Exponent that discuss scriptures, this chapter analyzes how Latter-day Saint (Mormon) women used and interpreted the Bible in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. More particularly, this chapter focuses on how Mormon women employed biblical women to establish Christian role models, to argue for gender equality and expansion of women’s sphere, and to defend the Mormon practice of polygamy. By analyzing how Mormon women employed biblical women at the end of the nineteenth century, one may identify trends and methods that situate Mormon women in the larger context of nineteenth-century female exegetes. This in turn complicates and expands previous understandings of Mormons’ interpretation and use of the Bible compared to that of their Protestant contemporaries. Through their writings, these women joined their female counterparts of other faith traditions in asserting women’s authority to interpret scripture and create their own identity.

Keywords:   Woman’s Exponent, Mormon, Latter-day Saint, Bible, polygamy

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