Feminist Lens: A Narrative Analysis

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Ideological criticism encompasses a variety of diverse genres of critique, which range from feminist approach, to socio-political, cultural, post-colonial, materialist, disability and ecological. My analysis will incorporate several of these themes. I will develop ideas relative to several ideological frameworks while engaging my text. For my ideological critique, I have elected to remain with the text found in Matthew 4:18-22 (NKJV), which I used to perform my narrative analysis.
My analytical lens will be informed by my status as an African American woman reared in a Christian household. My Christian upbringing took place in a predominantly black congregation in the Southern region of the United States of America. Growing up in a Southern
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My selected pericope contains no female characters and makes no reference to any women. Along the same lines, the fact that none of the disciples are women is a direct reflection of the pastoral leadership I witnessed in church as a young girl; while, at the same time this confirms the patriarchal society in which we live.
In addition, the selected word choice is indicative of a male dominant position, in that the text states fishermen, not another operative that would be conducive to gender neutrality, such as fishers, for example. Similarly, the text indicates that Jesus offers them an alternative, by expressing to them, “I will make you fishers of men.” According to Branch and Kleiber’s translations of the original Greek text, “… the term αλιείς (fishers) is used twice, while ανθρώπων (people) is used at the end.” However, the NKJV explicitly articulates the male gendered version of the word, with no reference to women in the narrative. This is problematic in that one could take this text, along with other portions of scripture, to apply only to men and not all human beings. Granted, as theological scholars we recognize and acknowledge that the bible was written with patriarchal undertones, and in some cases direct overtures; however, the common person may or may not be aware of such and could take
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Jesus seeks to begin gathering his wise counsel. He realizes the importance of ministry being a communal event, as opposed to proceeding in a one man conquest. This portion of the larger story is paramount in Jesus’ ministry as he goes on from here to preach, save, heal and deliver a multitude. In Matthew 9, Jesus heals Jairus’ daughter as well as the woman with the issue of blood. Although Jesus does not reserve his healing powers for men only, it is intriguing that in both of these instances, it is perceived that Jesus was sought after to perform healing miracles for women. This begs the question, of why are women worthy of being healed and saved, yet not qualified to walk with Jesus as