TWU researcher uncovers ‘silencing of Biblical women,’ enters regional 3MT competition
“Imagine if from our earliest sacred texts the voices of women had been heard and believed. Imagine the impact that might have had on how history has unfolded.”
– Shelby Bennett, MA Biblical Studies and Christian Thought
Last spring, Shelby Bennett, Master of Arts in Biblical Studies and Christian Thought student, swept up both the First Place Award and the People’s Choice Award at Trinity Western University’s Three Minute Thesis (3MT) academic competition.
Her thesis presentation was called “Deafening Silence: How Dead Sea Scrolls Expose the Silencing of Biblical Women.”
“The Genesis Apocryphon [part of the Dead Sea Scrolls] is an ancient ‘me too’ story, one that was lost for two millennia, until its discovery in the last century,” Bennett said, in a presentation that was both enlightening and provocative.
“It reveals that while we’re not the first culture to silence women, we’re also not the first to make their voices heard.”
Using the lens of gender and biblical studies, Bennett’s research compares the Genesis Apocryphon scroll with the biblical book of Genesis, to ask questions that have never been asked in Dead Sea Scrolls research.
Questions such as, “Why did the ancient authors choose to either represent or to silence the voices of women in these texts?”
And, “How might the silencing of exploited women in the Bible have laid a foundation for our own cultural moment?”
Uncovering the voices of women within a lost world
“When the Bible was written, it was not the only voice,” Bennett observed. She added, “How might things look differently today if we broaden our understanding of the world behind the Bible?”
“Imagine if from our earliest sacred texts the voices of women had been heard and believed,” Bennett challenged her audience. “Imagine the impact that might have had on how history has unfolded.”
Bennett will represent Trinity Western at the 3MT Western Canadian Regional competition on September 23, 2020. The online event starts at 1pm MST / 12pm PST and is hosted by the University of Alberta.
For more information and to attend the Western Canadian Regional competition on September 23, please visit their website.
Watch Bennett's winning presentation, “Deafening Silence: How Dead Sea Scrolls Expose the Silencing of Biblical Women,” below:
About Trinity Western University
Founded in 1962, Trinity Western University is Canada’s premier Christian liberal arts university dedicated to equipping students to establish meaningful connections between career, life, and the needs of the world. It is a fully accredited research institution offering liberal arts and sciences, as well as professional schools in business, nursing, education, human kinetics, graduate studies, and arts, media, and culture. It has five campuses: Langley, Richmond-Lansdowne, Richmond-Minoru, Ottawa, and Bellingham, WA. TWU emphasizes academic excellence, research, and student engagement in a vital faith community committed to forming leaders to have a transformational impact on culture. Learn more at www.twu.ca or follow us on Twitter @TrinityWestern, on Facebook and LinkedIn.
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